At least three terrorists including chief operations commander of Hizbul Mujahideen Yaseen Itoo were killed in an encounter with security forces in Awneera village of Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian.
Five soldiers were also injured in the encounter, two among them succumbed to injuries while two other terrorists escaped. The encounter broke out on Saturday evening and ended around noon on Sunday.
Security forces launched a cordon and search operation on Saturday following a tip off from local police about the presence of militants in Awnira village of Zainapora area of the district.
As the forces were conducting searches, the militants opened fire which was returned.
Intermittent firing continued the whole night, and the operation began in full swing in the morning. All three terrorists who were killed identified as Irfan, a tech-savvy militant involved in online propaganda for the militant outfit, and Umar, who was personal security man of Ghaznavi.
Yaseen Itoo, from Budgam district of central Kashmir, had a long association with Hizbul Mujahideen and was involved in keeping alive the prolonged unrest of 2016 following the killing of group’s commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces, besides recruiting several young men into the outfit, police said.
He was identified by his family members who were brought to the scene of the encounter by police from their residence in Budgam.
(With PTI Inputs)