Two suspected Lashkar-e-Tayiba militants, allegedly involved in a grenade attack on a tourist cab in July, were killed and three security personnel, including two army officers, injured in a fierce gun-battle in Pulwama district of south Kashmir on Friday, said the police.
Seven civilians were also injured as security forces opened fire to chase away stone-pelting protestors while evacuating the injured colleagues from the site, said the police.
Deputy Inspector General of police, South Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said the encounter between militants and security forces took place at Asthan Mohalla near village Bubgam in Pulwama town, 32 km from Srinagar.
The police, along with Rashtriya Rifles and the Central Reserve Police Force, launched a search operation after receiving information about the presence of militants in the area in the wee hours of Thursday, the officer said.
He added that two militants opened fire and were killed in the ensuing gun-battle that lasted for several hours.
He said an army major, a captain and a policeman were injured in the encounter.
Kumar identified the slain militants as Imtiyaz Ahmed Teli alias 'Fahadullah Kashmiri' and Mohammad Aamir Bhat alias 'Khalid and Khursheed'. He said they were involved in the grenade attack on a tourist cab in Bijbehara on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, in which four women tourists were killed, in July this year.
"As per the initial investigation, Teli was also involved in a grenade attack at Narwal area of Jammu in November, in which one person died and five others were injured," he said.
Kumar said when the army Major was being taken for treatment, a mob attacked the ambulance in Pulwama town by hurling stones.
"In the retaliatory action, seven people were injured," he said.
A policeman also received injuries after he was hit by a stone during the incident.