Four security force personnel, including an Army officer, and three militants were killed during a failed infiltration bid along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Machil sector of Kupwara in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said on Sunday. Three terrorists were also gunned down in the anti-terror operation, which took place in north Kashmir’s Machil sector, they said. This is one of the biggest encounters in the Union Territory since April. The encounter started after the Border Security Force noted suspicious movement near the anti-infiltration obstacle system (AIOS) fence near the LoC at 1pm. One BSF constable as well as one militant was killed in action. Army spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said in a statement that more troops were rushed to the area as as soon as the BSF engaged with the infiltrators after tracking their movement with surveillance devices. “Constable Sudip Sarkar lost his life during the operation in Machil Sector,” said the Border Security Force. The gun-battle ended around 4 am, as the army moved in reinforcements. Around 10.20 am, more intruders were detected approximately 1.5 km from the Line of Control, leading to a fresh gunfight in which an army officer and two jawans died. An AK 47 rifle and two bags were recovered from the first of the three terrorists killed. Reports said one of the killed troopers was an officer of the rank of lieutenant. He added that the injured soldiers have been evacuated. Pakistan, officials say, is making desperate attempts to push in terrorists before the winter sets in and mountain passes are closed due to snowfall. Army has said that a large number of terrorists are waiting on launching pads across the LoC. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha paid tributes to the security personnel martyred during the encounter with terrorists in Machil sector of Kupwara district. The Lt Governor also lauded the “courage and valour” displayed by the two Army soliders and the BSF jawan who were killed during the encounter while “protecting the integrity and sovereignty of the country”. “The nation will always remain indebted to the bravehearts who laid down their lives for providing safe and secure environment to our people,” Lt Governor Sinha said. The Lt Governor also offered his deepest condolences to the families of the martyrs and prayed for eternal peace to the departed souls.