Three army men including an officer who were injured critically in a gunfight with militants at Imam Sahab area of Shopian in south Kashmir on Thursday morning succumbed to injuries.

A police officer told that a joint team of Army’s 62 RR, SOG and CRPF on intervening night of Wednesday/Thursday at around 2:30 am launched a cordon-and-search operation at village Matribugh, Zoipora in the southern district following a tip off about the presence of some militants.

As such the joint team of forces intensified the combing  operation, the militants hiding in the area opened fire triggering off an encounter, the officer said.

In the initial gunfight, an army Major Kamlash Pandey along with two soldiers Sepoy Tanjin Chhutin and Kripal Singh sustained bullet injuries, he said.

All the injured troopers have been evacuated and airlifted to military’s 92 base hospital Srinagar for treatment.

However, Army Major Kamlesh and sepoy Tanjin succumbed to injuries today morning in military hospital. While as another soldier Kripal also succumbed to his injuries later in hospital.

SSP Shopian while confirming the killing of two army men including the officer said that the search operation to track down the militant group is still going on in the area.

Meanwhile, sources told that the militants believed to be three in number managed to escape while taking advantage of darkness during pre-dawn hours.

Hizbul Mujahudeen has claimed the responsibility of the Shopian attack in which two army men including a Major were killed and one soldier was injured on Thursday morning.

Hizb operational Spokesman Burhan-u-din in a tele statement said that One Army Major and five armymen were killed in the attack.

“Field operational commander congratulates the militants and announced cash reward for them.”