At least two militants, one of them thought to have close ties to slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, were killed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Tral after a fierce gun battle that lasted several hours, the state police said on Sunday. The officer killed was identified as Manzoor Ahmad Naik, from the Jammu and Kashmir Special Operations Group. The other militant was believed to be a member of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, though little else is known about him.

“One of them, Aqib Ahmed, is a very close aide of Burhan Wani and he has been neutralised,” Central Reserve Police Force spokesperson Rajiv Kumar said, according to Mint. Kumar added that several local residents started pelting stones during the operation, making things difficult for the security forces. Witness told Greater Kashmir that massive protests broke out after the militants were killed.

The Kashmir Valley was thrown out of gear for several months in 2016 after Wani’s killing in July. Schools and other establishments remained closed for weeks on ends, protests were carried out on a large scale and security forces were accused of using brutal methods to quell the resistance.