Two self-styled commanders of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit and a jawan were killed in a 15-hour-long gunbattle between security forces and militants that ended on Thursday morning in Kulgam district of South Kashmir.
Two personnel of special operations group of police were also injured in the encounter that broke out around 6 pm on Wednesday evening in Khazanbal, 110 kms from Srinagar.
Superintendent of police, Kulgam, Keshev Ram, told PTI that police assisted by troops of 62 Rashtriya Rifles cordoned the village on Wednesday evening following specific information about the presence of militants in a house.
As the joint search parties zeroed in around the house, the militants opened fire injuring Surinder Singh of 62 Rashtriya Rifles and Special Police Officer Zahoor Ahmad.
Both were rushed to hospital where Surinder Singh succumbed to injuries. In the retaliatory fire, one of the militants was killed on Wednesday evening.
Another militant, who engaged the security forces till 9 am on Thursday morning, was subsequently gunned down.
The slain militants were identified as Tahir and Adil. Ram said two AK rifles, several grenades, an improvised explosive device and some rounds of ammunition were recovered from the militants.
He described the killing of the two commanders as a 'major success' as the two were involved in the killings of civilians in South Kashmir.
The killing of the two militants comes close on the heels of gunning down of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Riyaz Ahmad Deedad at Abhama, 60 kms from Srinagar, in Pulwama district on Tuesday.