A top Hizb-ul-Mujahideen operative was gunned down on Friday evening by the troops in an encounter in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Acting on a tip-off the army launched a search and cordon operation in Nawapachi area of the district late on Friday evening but the militant fired at the troops from a hideout prompting them to retaliate, a police official said.
In the ensuing gunbattle which lasted for more than two hours a top ranking Hizb militant Tariq Lone alias Azhar was killed.
Lone was wanted in connection with a number of militant activities including the killing of senior leader of the ruling National Conference Gul Mohammad last year.
One AK rifle, one pistol, grenades and a radio set were recovedred from the site of the encounter.
The troops were hunting for Lone ever since he managed to escape from his hideout busted in Mathwah area of the district on January 19.
Meanwhile, a gunbattle broke out on Friday night between three suspected Lashkar-e-Tayiba militants holed up in a house and security forces at Koimoh-Rampur in Kulgam district of South Kashmir.
The security forces surrounded the house on a tip-off about the presence of the militants in the house, sparking an intermittent exchange of fire between the two sides, official sources here said.
There was no report of casualty in the exchange of fire. Security forces suspended the flush-out operation in the congested locality at night in order to avoid civilian casualties, they said adding the action would resume on Saturday morning.