The Jammu and Kashmir Police and security forces shot dead three terrorists travelling in a truck on Wednesday morning on National Highway-44 near Sidhra bridge on the outskirts of Old Jammu city, officials said.
Additional Director General of Police, Jammu, Mukesh Singh, said that the terrorists hiding in the truck were heavily armed. The exact number of terrorists can only be ascertained after searching the vehicle, he said, adding that the truck driver was absconding. Sources said an alert has been sounded to track him down.
The identity of the slain terrorists was being ascertained, sources said, adding that the truck they were travelling in was intercepted by police for checking.
At a time when the local police and security forces are on high alert in view of the upcoming Republic Day celebrations on January 26, ADGP Singh said that a Quick Response Team on the national highway noticed unusual movement of a truck and started following it. As the vehicle reached the naka at Sidhra bridge around 7 am, the police signalled it to stop and asked the driver to step out. The driver responded but escaped, taking advantage of the dense fog.
The police and security forces then started searching the truck, prompting the terrorists hiding inside to open fire, which led to retaliatory firing by the search parties, the police said. Security forces immediately cordoned off the vehicle and stopped the movement of vehicular traffic on that stretch of the highway. During the exchange of fire, the terrorists were killed and the vehicle caught fire, the police added.