Three militants associated with the Lashkar-e-Taiba were killed in a gunfight with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Sunday, the police said.

The three suspected militants have been identified as Arif Ahmad Hazar alias Rehan, Abu Huzaifa alias Haqqani and Natish Wani alias Haider, PTI reported.

Hazar was the deputy of a top Lashkar-e-Taiba commander named Basit, the police said. He was allegedly involved in the killing of Inspector Parvez, Sub Inspector Arshid and a mobile shop owner in Srinagar. The police said that several first information reports had been filed against him in the Union Territory’s capital.

A police spokesperson said that Hazar, along with his associates, was also involved in an attack on Bharatiya Janata Party leader’s residence in the Nowgam area of Srinagar.

“In this terror attack, policeman Rameez Raja attained martyrdom and his service rifle was also snatched,” the spokesperson said. “He [Hazar] was also involved in attack on two outside labourers at Suthsoo Kalan area of Nowgam on April 22.”

Huzaifa was a Pakistani national, while Wani was a resident of the Khanyar area in Srinagar, according to PTI.

The Srinagar Police said that Wani was a teenager who had joined the ranks of militants a week ago. “Active terrorists exploit gullible youths for their own ulterior motives,” the police said. “Such madness by youths leads to destruction of families and nothing else.”

A police official told PTI that the gunfight broke out in the Pahoo area of Pulwama in south Kashmir after security forces launched a search operation upon receiving information about the presence of militants. The militants fired at the security forces, which led to the gunfight, he added.

Two militants were also killed in a gunfight with security forces in Kulgam district on Saturday. The militants were associated with the terror outfit Jaish-e-Muhammad, Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar had said.