Pinglish: In a gunfight that lasted over 12 hours, three terrorists have been neutralised in Tral’s Pinglish village of Pulwama district.

An Army source confirmed that “three militants have been killed in Pinglish and arms were recovered from them”.

The source added that the encounter has ended but the operation is “in progress” for the final searches as mandated under the standard operating procedures (SOPs).

MyNation had reported on Sunday that the gunfight had started when security forces were carrying out a cordon and search operation after they got specific inputs that thee or four terrorists were hiding in the area.

Jawans of 42 RR, 180 CRPF and J&K police are carrying out the joint operation.

While the security forces were searching houses, militants started firing indiscriminately. Retaliating, the security forces fired back. During the firing, two women, who had got stuck inside a house adjacent to the spot of the encounter, cried for help. Forces ensured their safety and first evacuated both the women to a safe zone.

Sources said finally the house in which the terrorists were trapped was bombed and razed to the ground. The identities of the slain militants were yet to be ascertained as their bodies were charred beyond recognition.

So far, two bodies have been recovered from the encounter site. It is believed that they were associated with Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). Their identities are being ascertained. Search is going on at the site of the encounter.

Soon after the gunfight started, scores of young Kashmiris attempted to break the cordon and tried to march towards the gunfight site in a bid to help the trapped militants escape, a witness said.

According to reports, the security men had to stop their operation several times after locals started pelting stones at them to shield the hiding terrorists. Forces had to use teargas shells to disperse them.

Following the gunfight, mobile internet service is suspended in the area.

The gunfight at Pinglish is the second encounter between militants and forces in Tral this week. On Monday, two local Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants were killed in a gunfight in Tral-Payeen area.