Five suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba militants were killed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Friday morning in a gunfight with security forces after a day-long operation.

In a social media post on X, the Kashmir Zone Police said the operation was conducted by the police, the Army and the Central Reserve Police Force, adding that “incriminating materials” had been recovered. The militants are yet to be identified.

The police and military personnel had launched a cordon-and-search operation in Nehama village of Kulgam on Thursday based on intelligence inputs about the presence of militants in Samno, the police said.

The gunfight broke out on Thursday morning after the militants first opened fire, PTI reported, citing officials. The operation was suspended after dark and a cordon was maintained around a house in which the militants had taken shelter. Flood lights were also put up as part of a night-long vigil. Gunshots were exchanged again early on Friday.

The development comes after two militants were killed on Wednesday in Baramulla district’s Uri village near the Line of Control. One of them was identified as Bashir Ahmed Malik, who has allegedly facilitated the infiltration of several militants into Jammu and Kashmir over 30 years.

After a decline last year, infiltration attempts along the Line of Control have been gradually increasing in 2023. At least 42 militants have been killed this year, the Deccan Herald reported.

On November 9, Myser Ahmad Dar, a member of the Resistance Front, an offshoot of Lashkar-e-Taiba, was gunned down in South Kashmir’s Shopian district.

On October 30, a migrant labourer, identified as Mukesh from Uttar Pradesh, was shot dead in Pulwama district’s Tumchi Nowpora. A day earlier, Jammu and Kashmir Police Inspector Masroor Ahmad was shot at by militants in Srinagar. Ahmad was attacked in Eidgah ground while he was playing cricket.

On September 13, two Indian Army officers and a police official were killed in a gunfight with suspected militants in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.