Three terrorists, including a top Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander, were gunned down following an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district during the wee hours of Monday, police said.
According to the police, a search operation was launched following the inputs about the terrorists hiding in the Khulchohar area of Kashmir.
"As the personnel reached near the hide out spots, the terrorists fired upon the search party, who then retaliated", a senior police official of the Jammu and Kashmir police said.
The three deceased have been identified as Masood, a top commander of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Tariq Khan, and Nadeem, the officials said, adding that they had been looking to nab Masood for a very long time, but he kept on shifting his area of operations in Kashmir.
"The search operation team has found an AK-47 assault rifle and two pistols from their possession. The search operation is underway", the officer added.
Last week, Jammu and Kashmir's Director General of Police Dilbag Singh accused Pakistan of trying to send in more terrorists through various areas in Kashmir.
Meanwhile, security forces have been placed on alert after 218 youths from Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistani visas have gone missing, as authorities fear that Pakistan may be trying to train them to carry out a possible attack in the union territory.
As per official data, over 125 terrorists have been killed during search operations in Jammu and Kashmir.
Hizb-ul-Mujahideen was founded in 1989 and seeks independence from India. Its leadership mainly comes from the Tral region of Kashmir, considered as a hotbed of militancy by the Indian security forces.