In the second major success in as many weeks, security forces on Thursday shot dead five unidentified militants in a gunfight in Handwara area of Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara district.
Five militants have so far been killed in an ongoing operation in a forest area near Zachaldara village of Handwara, 100 km from here, a police spokesman said.
Earlier, defence spokesman Lt Colonel J S Brar had said three militants were killed after troops of 21 Rashtriya Rifles assisted by police launched an anti-insurgency operation in the forest area.
As the security forces were closing in on the location of militants, the ultras opened fire. The security forces retaliated and killed the militants in the ensuing gunfight, he said.
The identity and group affiliation of the slain militants could not be ascertained immediately as a search operation was still in progress, the spokesman said.
This is the second major encounter in Handwara during the past eight days. On March 28, security forces killed five LeT militants in the same area.