Two Lashkar-e-Taiba militants were killed, including a divisional commander of the outfit, in a 24-hour-long encounter with security forces in Kashmir's northern town of Sopore, police said on Sunday.
An official police spokesman claimed that the slain militants included divisional commander of LeT Muzamil Amin Dar alias Urfi, a Sopore resident, believed to be involved in a conspiracy to trigger blasts in Delhi for which two militants were arrested by the special cell of Delhi Police in February this year.
The second militant who was killed after security forces blasted the house in which the duo was holed up has been identified as Abdullah Shaheen, a Pakistani national.
The encounter started after a joint search party of police, CRPF and army were fired upon by a group of militants on Saturday in Shallapora area of Sopore, some 45 km from Srinagar.
After suspending the operation for the night, police spokesman said that it resumed on Sunday morning when the party tried to storm the targeted house, in which the militants had taken shelter.
"An assistant sub-inspector Kafeel Ahmad of police and an Army jawan Gurjan Singh of 22 RR were injured during the initial push," the police official said. "However, the encounter continued in which two LeT militants were eliminated and the house was damaged," the official added.
Earlier during the day, pro-freedom and anti-India protests erupted in the town as the security forces were involved in a standoff with the holed up militants. Police fired tear gas shells and baton charged youth who were pelting stones on the forces involved in the operation.
In the morning, chief minister Omar Abdullah in a police martyr's function lauded security forces, particularly cops, who have to undertake two different duties - maintaining law and order and combating militancy - simultaneously.
"State police personnel have to keep a gun in one hand and a stick in the other to deal with different situations. This is a peculiar phenomenon in the state," he stated.