A former Indian Army soldier was among the two militants shot dead during an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district on Tuesday, the state police said. The deceased have been identified as Mohd Idrees Sultan and Amir Hussain Rather.

The police said the two were suspected to be members of the Hizbul Mujahideen and believed to have been responsible for attacks on security establishments and civilians. A police spokesperson said Idrees Sultan had deserted the Army’s Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry unit in Bihar in April to join the militant group, Greater Kashmir reported.

“The operation is over. No collateral damage has been reported,” the Kashmir Police tweeted. Arms and ammunition were recovered from the site.

The police launched a cordon and search operation in Zainpora’s Safanagri based on intelligence inputs indicating the presence of militants in the area on Tuesday morning, a police statement said. The militants opened fire during the operation and the security forces retaliated. Officials requested citizens to stay away from the encounter zone until the police had cleared it of any stray explosive devices.

On Monday, security forces and suspected militants exchanged fire in Bakoora area of Ganderbal district. A day before that, a militant and a civilian were killed during a gunfight in Shopian district. Locals alleged the security forces had tried to pass the civilian off as a militant.