Security forces tightened their cordon around a forest area in the higher reaches of Doda district on July 9 evening following an encounter with hiding terrorists, officials said.

Preliminary information revealed that at least two terrorists were hit by the retaliatory action and it is premature to say whether they are dead or injured, a police officer said.

The gunfight between the two sides began in the Ghadi Bhagwah forest, 35 km east of Doda town bordering Kishtwar district, this evening when police assisted by the Army launched a joint search and cordon operation after a tipoff about the presence of terrorists in the area, the officials said.

Heavy firing continued for a couple of hours before the guns fell silent, the police officer said.

He said the search operation was temporarily suspended for the night and will resume on July 10 morning to get a clear picture of the situation. The encounter in Doda comes barely a day after five army personnel, including a junior commissioned officer, were killed and an equal number injured in an ambush by terrorists in Kathua district.

This was the fourth encounter in Doda district since June 12. While three foreign terrorists were killed in a day-long operation in the Gandoh area of the district on June 26, five army personnel and a special police officer were injured in a fierce gunfight in Chattargalla pass on June 12.

Another policeman was injured when terrorists opened fire on a search party in Gandoh the next day.

(With Inputs From Agencies)