The Jammu and Kashmir Police said security personnel killed three Hizbul Mujahideen militants, including one who had allegedly killed an Army jawan in 2018, in Awantipora on Saturday morning, PTI reported. The police identified the suspected militants as Showkat Dar, Irfan War and Muzaffar Sheikh.

A police spokesperson said the militants had opened fire on the security forces during a cordon-and-search operation in Panzgam, prompting retaliatory fire. The three deceased were wanted for their complicity in several terror crimes including attacks on security establishments, the spokesperson said.

“Dar was part of a group involved in the killing of Army jawan Aurangzeb in 2018 and in the killing of a policeman Aqib Ahmad Wagay the same year,” the spokesperson said. “Several terror crime cases were registered against him.”

The spokesperson added that Was was a member of terror groups responsible for attacks on security establishments and civilian atrocities in the area. “Similarly, Sheikh, as per police records, was also involved in several terror attacks on security establishments in the area,” he said.

The police said they found arms and ammunition at the site of the encounter.