Indian security forces gunned down two suspected militants in an encounter in Bijbehara in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday morning, said the police. “Their identities and affiliations are being ascertained,” a police spokesperson said.

The police recovered arms and ammunition from the encounter site. A search operation is still under way. The police spokesperson said they launched a cordon and search operation after getting inputs about the presence of militants. The gunfight began after the militants fired upon a search party, the spokesperson added.

People have been advised not to venture inside the areas where the encounter took place, due to the possibility that stray explosive materials were still present there. “People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitised and cleared of all the explosives materials if any,” a statement from the police said.

The encounter comes amid the election season in Jammu and Kashmir. The Anantnag Parliamentary constituency will vote in three phases due to security concerns. While polling stations in part of Anantnag district voted on April 18, those in Kulgam district will vote on April 29. The remaining polling stations in Shopian and Pulwama districts will vote on May 6.

On April 1, four militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Three Army jawans and a policeman also sustained injuries.