Four suspected militants were killed in a gunfight with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district on Friday, the police said. A fifth suspected militant surrendered to the security forces, PTI reported.

An official said a search operation was launched in Kiloora area of Shopian district after receiving information about the presence of militants, according to the news agency. The gunfight took place hours after the body of Nisar Ahmad Bhat, a panchayat member from Khamoh, was found in an apple orchard. Bhat, who was associated with the Bharatiya Janata Party, had been kidnapped by militants 10 days ago.

The police told PTI that the suspected militants killed by security forces included the district commander of the Al-Badr outfit and another one involved in the kidnapping and killing of Bhat.

“Terrorist Shakoor Parray and another terrorist Suhail Bhat who abducted and killed Khanmoh’s Panch were neutralised in Friday’s encounter,” Jammu and Kashmir Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar said.

Defence Spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia, meanwhile, said that the security forces recovered two AKS guns and three pistols after the gunfight.