Indian security forces killed two suspected militants in north Kashmir’s Handwara on Sunday, the third day of the gunfight. A jawan was also killed in the gunfight, Greater Kashmir reported. On Friday, a civilian and four jawans had been killed in the encounter.

Inspector General SP Pani told ANI that the operation is almost over and a final search is under way. “We have recovered two bodies of terrorists, their identities are being ascertained,” Pani said. “The reason for prolonged operation is the tough terrain along with a heavy civilian population.”

As many as 11 security personnel including a Central Reserve Police Force officer have been injured in the battle. The soldier who died on Sunday has been identified as Shyam Narayan Singh Yadav, a police statement said.

“This operation posed considerable difficulties to the security forces due to the topography of the area,” the statement said. “Area where the terrorists were hiding was very congested and civilians in the adjoining houses had to be evacuated to the safer places away from the site of encounter.”

The police said “incriminating materials” including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of the encounter. They said a case has been registered in the matter.

“Citizens are requested not to venture inside the encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials,” the police statement added. “People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosives materials if any.”

The gunfire exchange broke out late on Thursday night during a cordon and search operation. The other security personnel who were killed have been identified as Naseer Kholi and Ghulam Mustafa of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, and Pintu and Vinod of the CRPF.