The security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district killed two militants, including a top Jaish-e-Mohammad commander, in a gunfight on Saturday, the police said.

The Jaish-e-Mohammad commander who was killed has been identified as Abu Saifullah, who was also known as Adnan, Ismail and Lamboo, according to the Hindustan Times.

Saifullah, who had been operating in the Valley since 2017, was involved in a series of terror attacks, including the Pulwama attack of February 14, 2019, the newspaper quoted a senior official as saying. He had reportedly been trying use Awantipora, especially the Kakpora and Pampore areas of Pulwama, as hotbeds for recruiting militants.

Saifullah was the nephew of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar, India Today reported.

The identity of the other militant is yet to be ascertained, a police officer said.

The security forces had launched a cordon and search operation in the forest areas of Namibian and Marsar and the “general area” of Dachigam on Saturday morning. They had received inputs about the presence of militants there, a police official told PTI.

He said the search operation turned into a gunfight after militants opened fire at a search party of the forces, who retaliated.

In the past month, several militants have been killed in gunbattles with security forces. On July 2, five militants, including Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Nishaz Lone, were killed in an encounter in Hanjin village of Pulwama district.

On July 14, the security forces had killed three militants in an encounter in Pulwama. One of those killed was Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Aijaz, alias Abu Huraira, a resident of Pakistan, The Hindu reported.