A policeman and two militants – one of whom was from Pakistan – have been killed in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Tral town, Pulwama district. A number of security personnel also sustained injuries in the gunfight, which went on for more than 12 hours. Combing operations are underway.

Local police, Indian Army soldiers and personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force began the joint operation on Saturday evening after being tipped off that two or three radicals – believed to be close aides of former Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani – were in the area.

However, residents of the locality protested against the presence of security forces in the area and pelted stones at the personnel carrying out door-to-door search operations to weed out the militants. They also snatched a rifle from a jawan, The Indian Express reported.

There are conflicting reports on the encounter, including on details of the number of militants killed and the group they belong to. J&K Director General of Police SP Vaid had told Hindustan Times that Sabzar Ahmad Bhat, who replaced Wani, was suspected to be trapped in the area cordoned off by security forces. Wani’s killing on July 8, 2016, had triggered protests and a months-long crisis in the Valley.

The policeman killed in the encounter was identified as Constable Manzoor Ahmed Naik of Kashmir Police’s Special Operations Group.