Security forces have rescued three children and a woman who were being held hostage during a gunbattle in which three civilians, an army officer and two militants were killed in Jammu on Wednesday.
The militants, holed up in a house in Chinore on the outskirts of the city took six civilians hostage on Wednesday morning. The police said they were trying to rescue the two remaining hostages before launching an assault on the militants.
The police say three terrorists had crossed into Jammu and Kashmir from the Kanachak sector of the Pakistan border on Tuesday morning. They were intercepted at the police check post of Chinore on Wednesday morning, about 20 km north from the centre of Jammu.
The militants, dressed in police uniforms and carrying AK-47 assault rifles, shot dead a junior commissioned officer and then hijacked a three-wheeler.
They then fired indiscriminately killing a milk man identified as Shabeet Hussain as well as a motorcyclist, Naseeb Singh, before killing the three-wheeler driver, Vijay Kumar, said the police.
The militants then entered a house in Chinore.
Police and Army personnel cordoned off the area and have been engaged in a gunbattle with the militants since.
Once the remaining hostages have been rescued, there would be a "final onslaught", said an Army officer, which in military terms means blowing up the building with rocket launchers or explosives.
"The civilian hostages is what is holding us up from launching a final onslaught. We are ready for that," the Army officer said.
Army personnel have taken positions on roof tops of adjoining houses in densely populated Chinore, located on a hillock.
Grenade explosions and gun shots were heard in the area as the one-storey building where the militants were hiding was perforated with bullet marks.
"A high alert has been sounded in Jammu due to the terrorist infiltration from across the border," said Inspector General of Police (Jammu Zone) K Rajendra.