SRINAGAR:Two Army men and two militants were killed in an encounter at Handwara area of Kupwara district in J&K on Friday. In a separate incident, militants decamped after snatching a service rifle from a policeman by throwing chilli powder at him. Defence spokesman in Srinagar Colonel N N Joshi told Express that the Army and Special Operations Group (SOG) of the J&K Police had launched a joint search operation in Laribal village of Zachaldara in Kupwara on Thursday evening after receiving inputs about the presence of militants there. He said during the combing operation, securitymen established contact with the militants hiding in the area. “On being challenged, the militants opened fire on the search party. The fire was returned by the troops, triggering an encounter. In the ensuing firefight, which continued till Friday morning, two militants and two Army men were killed,” Joshi said.