A civilian, said to be a former militant, was on Monday shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Handwara town of North Kashmir, GNS news agency reported. The motive of the murder is not known yet.

Preliminary reports identified the victim as 39-year-old Abdul Majeed Shah. Shah, a trader, was shot outside his home in the Babagund area of the town. He was taken to a nearby hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries on the way.

Shah was allegedly a former militant with the Hizbul Mujahideen outfit and had surrendered long back, an unidentified official told the news agency. An investigation is under way, the official said.

Security personnel have launched a manhunt to catch the assailants, the report said.