Security forces in Jammu and Kashmir killed two militants in a gunfight in the Trubji area of Kulgam district, the police said on Monday.

Both of them belonged to the Lashkar-e-Taiba terror group, the Kashmir Observer reported. They were identified as Zubair Ahmad Mir, a resident of Qaimoh town in Kulgam district, and Idrees Ahmad Dar of Kulpora village.

The gunfight broke out soon after security forces, including the police, Army’s 1 Rashtriya Rifles Battalion and the Central Reserve Police Force, cordoned the area following a tip-off.

A search operation was conducted in Nowpora-Kherpora village and the security teams were led to the militants.

The joint teams retaliated after the militants fired at them, reported the Kashmir Observer. Civilians trapped around the site of the gunfight were taken to safer places by the police.

“As per police records, both the killed militants were categorised and involved in several cases including attacks on police or security forces and civilian atrocities including killing of PRIs [Panchayati Raj Institution],” an unidentified police spokesperson told the Kashmir Observer.

Mir, who was active since August 2021, was recruiting local youth to join the terror organisation, the official said.

“Incriminating material, arms and ammunition have been recovered from the site of encounter,” he added. “All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation.”

A case has been registered with the police.

The Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar termed the gunfight as significant as the area is close to the highway, which is a route for the Amarnath Yatra.

On June 21, four militants were killed in two separate gunfights in Baramulla and Pulwama districts.

One of the militants killed in Pulwama was identified as Majid Nazir, who was affiliated with the terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed.

According to the police, Nazir was involved in the killing of sub-inspector Farooq Ahmad Mir, who was shot dead in a paddy field close to his home in Samboora village of Pampore Tehsil in Pulwama on June 18.

Since January, 118 militants, including 32 foreign nationals, have been killed in Kashmir, Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar said on June 21.

“In 2021, a total of 55 terrorists including two foreign terrorists were killed in the same period,” Kumar said. “Out of 118, 77 terrorists are from Pakistan-sponsored Lashkar-e-Taiba and 26 from Jaish-e-Mohammed outfit.”