NEW DELHI (Sputnik) — According to the Hindustan Times newspaper, citing the police, the operation was carried out in the village of Amargarh in Jammu and Kashmir state. The police cordoned off the area at around midnight local time (18:30 GMT on Friday), and the gunfire started around 02:00 a.m. local time and lasted for some four hours, the media added.
The security forces requested the terrorists to surrender, but the militants responded with fire, the newspaper added, citing Rajeshwar Jamwal, an army officer.
Two of the militants killed in the operation were already identified as residents of Baramulla and Bandipora districts of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Jammu and Kashmir region has been disputed by India and Pakistan since the end of British rule in 1947. Following several armed conflicts, the two countries agreed to a ceasefire in 2003. Since then, both sides have repeatedly accused each other of violating the truce. The unstable situation in the region led to the emergence of extremist groups, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba.
- Indian army soldiers patrol near the highly militarized Line of Control dividing Kashmir between India and Pakistan, in Pallanwal sector, about 75 kilometers from Jammu, India, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016© AP Photo / Channi Anand
- Kashmiri Muslim protesters hold a flag of Islamic State as they shout anti-India slogans during a protest in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Friday, April 8, 2016© AP Photo / Dar Yasin
- An Indian soldier looks through binoculars at a forward post somewhere in Mendhar sector 200 meters from the Line of Control separating Indian and Pakistan held Kashmir, some 100 Kms southwest of Srinagar (File)© AFP 2021 / PRAKASH SINGH
Established in 1987, Lashkar-e-Taiba has become one of the largest militant groups operating in the disputed region. It is considered responsible for the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai that claimed the lives of 166 people.