A cross-border tunnel has been detected in the Samba district, sources in the security forces said on Sunday.

The tunnel, approximately 5 ft x 5ft in diameter, opened at Regal area, nearly 150 metres inside the Indian side. The area is swamped with wild growth. The tunnel was discovered when the security forces were clearing the wild growth in the areas along the International Border.

The tunnel is suspected to have been used by four Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists who were killed on Thursday morning in an encounter with the security forces at Ban near the strategic headquarters of the Indian Army’s 16 Corps at Nagrota on the Jammu-Srinagar highway.

Two policemen were injured during the gunfight that began in the wee hours at 4.50 am at the toll plaza where the security forces had laid a cordon following intelligence inputs about movement of the terrorists in a Srinagar bound truck.

“In a bid to escape, terrorists tossed grenades at security forces when the truck was intercepted. The truck caught fire and a few grenades exploded inside it during the exchange of fire,” Mukesh Singh, Inspector General of Police (Jammu Zone), said. Thereafter, the terrorists fled towards the forest area where they were trapped and the encounter broke out.

A huge cache of arms and ammunition, including 11 AK assault rifles, three pistols, 29 grenades and six grenades were recovered from the possession of the terrorists, who, according to police, had come to execute a “big plan” to disrupt District Development Council polls, scheduled to be held in eight phases beginning November 28.

RR Bhatnagar, Advisor to Lt Governor and Director General of Police Dilbag Singh had on Monday reviewed the security plans and preparedness in central Kashmir for the upcoming District Development Council (DDC) election and by-elections for Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies (ULB).

(With agency inputs)