A top Lashkar-e-Tayiba militant commander was on Friday killed in an encounter with security forces in a village in Kupwara district of north Kashmir.
"Abu Hanzullah has been killed in the operation launched in Rajwar belt of Handwara," Inspector General of Police S M Sahai said.
Official sources said Hanzullah was one of the top ranking commanders active in Kashmir and involved in several attacks on civilians and security forces in north Kashmir.
Troops of 21 Rashtriya Rifles and Police launched an operation in Rajwar area last evening following information about Hanzullah's presence there, the sources said.
They said the militant opened fired as he was trapped inside a house. The security forces retaliated, triggering off a gunbattle.
The operation was halted during the night but a tight cordon was maintained around the house to prevent the militant from escaping, the sources said, adding he was eliminated in fresh exchange of fire on Friday morning.