New Delhi: Five suspected terrorists barged into a house and have taken an elderly man hostage during an encounter with security forces in Batote area of Ramban district in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday.

Three militants have been killed and all the hostages have been rescued to safer locations, Jammu Inspector General Mukesh Singh said. One Army jawan was martyred in the encounter, while two more security personnel were injured, he added.

Two encounters and a grenade attack have been reported from the area since morning. Joint parties of Police, Army, and CRPF have cordoned off the area and stalled all traffic movement on the highway. An exchange of fire is underway between the Army and the terrorists along the Jammu-Kishtwar national highway.

“Three people in civil dress and guns in hands went to a neighbouring house, all the members of their families came out, their father is held in the house. Army personnel just rescued us. Firing is underway”, a local in Batote area of Ramban, Jammu and Kashmir told ANI.

Continuous rains in the area made the search operations even more difficult. Security forces have been advancing with utmost caution to ensure the safety of civilians and avoid any collateral damage. They have also asked the militants to surrender.

Meanwhile, a second encounter broke out the northern part of Ganderbal area, bordering Gurez near LoC. One terrorist was shot dead and joint operations are underway. Another incident was reported in downtown Srinagar where suspected terrorists threw a grenade at a scanty neighbourhood.

No one was injured in the explosion, however, the police are trying to find out the target of the attack.

Officials stated that the militants fired at the quick reaction team of the Army after a driver of a civilian vehicle informed the force about the presence of two suspicious individuals on the highway in Batote of Ramban district, leading to a brief exchange of fire.

“Today (Saturday) morning at about 7.30 am, two suspicious individuals, tried to stop a civilian vehicle at the general area Batote on the highway. The driver was alert, did not stop the vehicle and rushed and informed the nearest Army post,” an Army official said.