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Srinagar, Oct 11 (IANS) Two commandos of the Indian Air Force elite Garud commando unit and two militants were killed on Wednesday in a gun battle in Jammu and Kashmir’s Bandipora district.

“The two Garud personnel were killed in action while operating with the Army for operational experience and training,” Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said.

The gunfight between the security forces and the terrorists took place in the Hajin area, Kalia described it as an “intense operation”.

Earlier both the Defence sources and the police had said that the security personnel killed in the Hajin encounter were from the Indian Army. At least one more soldier was also injured in the encounter.

The earlier reports said the gun battle erupted when the security personnel surrounded the Paribal village early on Wednesday following specific inputs about the militants’ presence inside a house.

The hiding militants triggered the encounter firing at the security forces approaching the house. Two militants were immediately killed.

“Three soldiers sustained injuries, two of whom were critical and later succumbed,” the police sources said.

“The Chinar Corps commander and all ranks salute the Martyrs and offer condolences to the bereaved families,” Kalia added.

The Garud commandos are a special unit of the Indian Air Force with only over a 1,000 commandos.

It was formed in September 2004. The unit derives its name from Garuda, a divine bird-like creature of Hindu mythology.

The Garud commandos are trained along the lines of Navy’s MARCOS and Army’s para commandos.

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