The Commanding Officer of 41 Rashtriya Rifles Colonel Santosh, who was leading a search party, was critically injured when militants hiding in a dense forest area of Haji Naka opened fire, the officials added.

Santosh, who was from the elite regiment of Para Commandos, was evacuated to a hospital but he succumbed to injuries, the officials said.

They stated a police constable was also injured in the firing and was undergoing treatment. The operation to track down the militants was continuing when last reports were received, the officials said.

The party of army and police came under fire when it was conducting searches as part of an operation started on November 13 to flush out terrorists hiding in the forest area on the basis of a specific information.

An Army jawan was injured on the first day of the operation. After the initial contact on November 13, the militants fled deep into the forests and the security forces continued the chase them, leading to fresh contact today, the officials said.

Latest News from Jammu and Kashmir News Desk