Three militants, including a top-ranked commander of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, were killed in a gunfight which started on Sunday night in Gund Brath area of Sopore town in Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla district, the Kashmir Zone Police said on Monday morning. A search operation to apprehend more militants is currently underway.

The top Lashkar-e-Taiba operative, identified as Mudasir Pandit, was recently involved in the killing of three policemen, two councillors and two civilians, Kashmir Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar said. “Killing of Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Mudasir is a big relief for local population,” he said.

Another militant was identified as Asrar Abdullah, a resident of Pakistan who was active in north Kashmir since 2018, according to the police.

In a joint operation of the Army, Jammu and Kashmir Police and the Central Reserve Police Force, the security forces launched a cordon and search operation late on Sunday night following information about the presence of at least three militants in the area, NDTV reported.

The security forces’ operation came days after two policemen and as many civilians were killed in a militant attack in Sopore on June 12. Militants had fired upon a joint party of the Central Reserve Police Force and the police near main Chowk Sopore.