Pinglan: Four Army men, including a major-rank officer, have lost their lives in an early morning gun fight in Pinglan area of Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir. The incident came days after Pakistan-backed Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) suicide bomber killed at least 40 CRPF jawans in the district. 

The slain soldiers belong to the 55 Rashtriya Rifles contingent of the Indian Army. A civilian has also been killed in the encounter.

The Army, along with the Jammu and Kashmir police, had launched a cordon and search operation overnight at Pinglan village in Pulwama district after a brief exchange of fire. At least two or three militants were believed to be trapped at the site.

According to latest information, the militants, who fired upon security forces, are suspected to belong to JeM. Two terrorists have been cornered by the security forces. They are believed to have links with Adil Ahmad Dar, the JeM suicide bomber involved in the Pulwama terror attack.

The encounter between the security forces and militants is underway. 

The slain Army officer had been identified as Major DS Dondial. Other soldiers killed were head constable Save Ram, sepoy Ajay Kumar and sepoy Hari Singh. A civilian, Mushtaq Ahmad, was also killed in the gunfight.

On February 14, the JeM suicide bomber rammed an SUV car with 350 kg of explosives into a security convoy of 78 vehicles carrying over 2,500 personnel. Most of them were returning to duty after spending their holidays in their respective destinations. 

More details awaited