New Delhi: Five security personnel, including three CRPF soldiers and two Jammu and Kashmir police personnel were martyred in a 56-hour-long encounter in Handwara in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district. The intense gun-battle which started on Friday also neutralised two terrorists today.

A civilian was also killed in the firing when protesters clashed with the security forces to disrupt the operation.

“Operation is almost over,final search on. We have recovered 2 bodies of terrorists, their identities being ascertained. The reason for prolonged operation is tough terrain along with heavy civilian population. We’ve lost 3 CRPF and 2 J&K Police personnel,” confirmed IGP Kashmir SP Pani.

The gunfight began on Friday in Babagund village of Handwara in Kupwara district after security forces — Army’s 22 RR, 92 Battalion CRPF and SOG cordoned the area following information of the presence of militants. Two CRPF jawans and two policemen were killed on Friday when a militant who was presumed to be dead suddenly rose from the debris of a house and fired indiscriminately at the security forces.

Seven other security personnel were also injured in the gunfight. If reports are to be believed, two houses and two cowsheds were destroyed by the security forces as the hiding militants kept on changing positions at the site of the gunfight.

The intense gunfight in Handwara comes nearly a week after a Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) Aman Thakur and an Army jawan lost their lives in an encounter with Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists in Kulgam district of south Kashmir.