Four militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba, Hizbul Mujahideen and Jaish-e-Mohammad were killed in two different gunfights with forces in Valley on Thursday.
A police official said at around midnight, a cordon and search operation was launched by troops in Yarwan forest area of Shopian after receiving input about presence of militants there.
He said during searches of the area, troops established contact with militants hiding there.
“In an attempt to escape from cordon, militants fired upon the search party. The fire was returned by the troops, triggering a gunfight. There was lull after initial exchange of fire and gunfight again resumed at around 7 am,” the official said.
He said in the ensuing gunfight, three militants were killed.
The deceased militants were identified as Aqib Ahmad Dar son of Abdul Ahad Dar of Bhatnoor, Pulwama; Sajad Ahmad Khandey alias Usama son of Mohammed Akhbar Khandey of Bamno, Pulwama and Basharat Ahmad Mir son of Mohammed Rafiq Mir of Wosur, Pulwama, who was presently living at Naira with his maternal grandparents.
Dar was category C militant of Lashkar-e-Toiba and had joined militant ranks on September 15, 2017.
Khanday, a category B militant, became active on May 28, 2017 and was affiliated with Lashkar.
Mir was affiliated with Hizbul Mujahideen and joined militant ranks on September 26, 2017.
Police said the militants were wanted by law for their complicity in series of attacks on security establishments and many cases were registered against them.
After completion of lego-medical formalities, the bodies of deceased militants were handed to heirs for last rites.
Thousands of people attended the funeral prayers of the slain militants chanting pro-freedom and anti-slogans.
Aqib and Sajad were buried in village graveyards in their native villages. Basharat was buried in Naira village, where he was residing with maternal grandparents.
Local residents said militants appeared during funeral prayers of Aqib and offered gun salute to their fallen associate.
As the news about killing of three militants spread, youth hit the streets in Shopian town and pelted stones on forces personnel.
The forces retaliated by firing teargas smoke shells to disperse the youth.
A spontaneous shutdown was also observed in Pulwama town against the militant killings.
Authorities snapped mobile internet in Shopian and Pulwama after the eruption of the gunfight.
An encounter also erupted between militants and forces Yaroo area of Langate in Handwara in border district of Kuwpara during a cordon and search operation.
A militant of Jaish-e-Mohammad was killed in the gunfight.
The deceased militant has been identified as Danish Ahmad Dar resident of Sopore.
“The deceased militant was affiliated with JeM and was wanted for his complicity in series of militant attacks. Several cases were registered against him for his involvement in militancy incidents,” the police official said.
As body of slain militant was taken to his native place, hundreds of people visited his home to pay homage to him.
Thousands of people attended the funeral prayers of the deceased militant in Sopore amidst chanting of pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.