With two soldiers succumbing at the military hospital late Sunday evening, the entire team of five soldiers of the elite Special Forces of the Indian Army was martyred in the intense hand-to-hand battle but they succeeded in eliminating the group of five Pakistani terrorists who had infiltrated through the Line of Control (LoC) in the Keran sector of north Kashmir.

The troopers were part of the team that had conducted surgical strikes at terrorist training camps in Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir (POJK) in 2016.

Among the martyred soldiers, two each belonged to Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand, while one was from Rajasthan.

Four soldiers of the Special Forces under the command of a junior commissioned officer (JCO), Subedar Sanjeev Kumar, were heli-dropped near the LoC after information about the infiltrators was received, said Army’s spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia.

“In this battle, however, Army lost five of its best soldiers, three on the site and two more succumbed while they were airlifted to a nearby military hospital,” said Col. Kalia.

The operation against Pakistan backed terrorists was launched in a close quarter battle in heavy snow and hostile terrain.

The martyred soldiers have been identified as the leader of the team, Subedar Sanjeev Kumar of Himachal Pradesh, Haveldar Davendra Singh of Uttarakhand, Paratrooper Bal Krishan of Himachal Pradesh, Paratrooper Amit Kumar of Uttarakhand and Chhatrapal Singh of Rajasthan.