A Colonel was killed in a militant attack in north Kashmir's Lolab area and a Captain injured in cross-firing at the Line of Control in the Poonch Sector.

Official sources said Colonel Neeraj Sood, Commanding Officer of the 18 Rashtriya Rifles, was killed when he led a party of troops to flush out militants hiding in the Saiwan forests.

“On a tip-off that militants were hiding in the area, the Commanding Officer himself led a party to launch an offensive,” the sources said, adding Colonel Sood was badly wounded when the militants opened fire. He died of his injuries on the way to hospital.

Reinforcements were sent to the area soon after the incident to intensify the operation against the militants. “The operation is still on,” a senior Army officer said.

He said the body of Colonel Sood, who is survived by his wife and 11-year-old daughter, was being flown to Delhi.

The sources said Captain Nikhil Bismit of the 12 Grenadiers received bullet injuries in the cross-firing at the Line of Control and was shifted to a military hospital in Poonch.

A fierce gunfight followed between security personnel and militants. A group of four to five militants is believed to be trapped as the fighting continued.