Sopore encounter
[Representational image.]Reuters File

Two Hizbul Mujahideen guerrillas and an army officer were killed and a policeman was injured in a gunfight on Tuesday in Jammu & Kashmir's Pulwama district, police said.

The gunfight ensued when personnel of the army's 42 Rashtriya Rifles, police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) launched a joint operation in Handoora forest area near Tral town following information about the presence of militants, a police officer told IANS.

When the militants were surrounded and challenged to lay down their weapons, they fired at the security personnel that resulted in injuries to Col. M.N. Rai, the commanding officer of the Rashtriya Rifles battalion, and a head constable of police, he said.

The injured men were evacuated and taken to a hospital, where Col. Rai succumbed to his injuries, hospital officials said.

The security forces continued to retaliate the militants' fire, that led to the death of two militants -- identified as Firdous Ahmed and Shiraz Ahmad of Hizbul Mujahideen.

Both the slain militants were locals, the police officer said.