An army captain was killed and five security personnel, including four Rashtriya Rifles soldiers and a policeman, injured in a firefight with militants in Pulwama district on Thursday.
The forces said four Hizb-ul Mujahideen militants were also killed in the exchange of fire.
Capt Deepak Kumar of 42 Rashtriya Rifles is the second army officer to be killed in a gunbattle with militants in less than a fortnight in the Valley.
Kumar was with the Corps of Signals since 2006 and had volunteered to join the Rashtriya Rifles last year. Army sources said he was to get married next month and had already applied for leave.
On Wednesday, the security forces got a tip-off that four Hizb-ul Mujahideen militants were hiding at Mir Mohalla in Dadsara village, about 35 km from Srinagar. But the operation was suspended because of darkness and inclement weather.
When the operation resumed on Thursday morning, the militants opened fire on a search party in the Tral area of Pulwama, 40 km from Srinagar.
The security forces have recovered the bodies of three militants identified as Midha and Shabir, top Hizb commanders in south Kashmir, and Khalid. The police claimed that they were involved in many killings and had also attacked a police party last month.
“We have killed all the four militants,” said Kamal Sehni, DIG of Police, south Kashmir. He said, “The encounter is not over yet. Search is on for the fourth body.”
A home ministry official said during search of the debris, a camouflaged hideout was detected from where army combat uniforms and grenade launchers and pistols were found.