Srinagar: One more militant was killed in the Army's counter-infiltration operation in Gurez sector of north Kashmir, near the LoC, as the death toll of ultras rose to 13 in the gun battles that entered its fifth day.

The military operation inside the forests of Gurez sector follows the first large infiltration attempt of the year, which was detected and foiled by the Army last week when 12 militants were killed in an operation in the same sector of Bandipora district.

"The operation continues in Gurez area," defence spokesman Lieutenant Colonel J S Brar said.

So far, 13 militants and one army officer have been killed in the gun battles.

The first confrontation among a group of militants, coming into the Kashmir Valley from across the line, and army personnel took place on the night of August 19-20.

Army killed 12 militants who were attempting to cross Kishenganga river, which at some parts acts as the LoC, in a gunfight that raged for many hours.

Lieutenant Navdeep Singh, from 15th Battalion of Maratha Light Infantry, was killed in the gunfight.

Since then, Army has continued its operation in the area launching a manhunt for militants who might have succeeded in escaping the initial encounter.

"Post encounter, intensive search operations have been undertaken in the jungles in the vicinity of the encounter site," the defense spokesman said.

The 13th militant was killed on Tuesday during search operations near the vicinity of the August 20 encounter site.

Brar said the militant fired indiscriminately at the soldiers, who returned the gunfire and killed the ultra. The identity and group affiliation of the slain militants were not yet known.

The gunbattles have come at a time when the region is witnessing a sudden spurt in infiltration attempts by militants from across the LoC.

The increase in infiltration bids follows a long period of lull during which several top ranking militant commanders were eliminated in the Kashmir Valley.

Earlier this week, Army had said militants will make further attempts to cross the LoC in the next two months before the onset of winter.

The first seven months of this year witnessed zero- infiltration, which happened for the first time in the last 20 years in Jammu and Kashmir.

Nearly a dozen infiltration attempts by militants were detected and foiled in the first two weeks of this month.

(Agencies)