Three Army soldiers were martyred and 4 were injured – two, critically – after militants ambushed an army patrol party in the Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir this morning.

According to a recent report, the army has lost 26 soldiers in the line of duty in Jammu and Kashmir in the first two months of 2017, while the security forces have stepped up the heat against militants, killing 22 ultras in 50 days — the highest since 2010.

The army convoy, consisting of seven vehicles carrying soldiers of 44 Rashtriya Rifles, was on its way back after carrying out an anti-terror operation at a village in Matrigam in Shopian when it was attacked by heavily-armed terrorists around 2:30 am on Thursday. The terrorists let two army vehicles pass and attacked the third and fourth vehicles by firing from two directions in the Chitragam village of the district, Greater Kashmir reported.

Earlier that day, three soldiers were killed in a gunbattle with militants in Hajin area of Bandipora district while one ultra was also killed, they said.The valley had witnessed a bloody day two days earlier on February 12 when four militants were gunned down in an encounter in Kulgam district of Kashmir, while two soldiers also laid down their lives.Search and combing operations are underway to root out the terrorists. Security forces have cordoned off the area.

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