Security forces killed two militants and an “associate” during an encounter in Dragad-Sugan village in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday morning, the state police said.

The gunfight broke out after a joint team of the Army and the Central Reserve Police Force launched a cordon-and-search operation before dawn. A police officer said the operation was launched after getting information about militants in the area. “The militants opened fire when the security forces zeroed in on them,” The Hindu quoted the police as saying.

Top commanders of the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Lashkar-e-Taiba are believed to be trapped in the area, reported India Today.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police said one of the militants killed was identified as Saju Magrey, a member of the Hizbul Mujahideen. “He was involved in a series of terror crimes including IED incidents,” they alleged. The other militant and their associate are yet to be identified, the police added. Search operations are going on.

Clashes erupted near the encounter site after the gunfight started. “The forces responded by firing tear smoke shells and pellets to scare away the stone-pelting youth,” a local resident told Greater Kashmir.

Later, two more unidentified militants were killed in a gunfight in Midoora area of Pulwama district.

Two policemen wounded in Kishtwar gunfight

Meanwhile, two special police officers were injured during a gunfight with militants in Marwah block in Kishtwar district, the police said.

Kishtwar Senior Superintendent of Police Shakti Kumar Pathak told Greater Kashmir that the gun battle broke out in Uppen village while the police were conducting a cordon-and-search operation. Suspected militants hiding in the area opened fire, injuring two personnel.

The operation is still under way, and two or three militants have been trapped in the area, Pathak added. The Indian Army is at the spot.