A top leader of the Hizbul Mujahideen was killed early on Tuesday when security forces engaged militants in Jammu and Kashmir's Udhampur district, police said.
Though Mohammed Osama had been gunned down, three to four militants were still hiding. The operation to flush the militants out from the heights of Dimlu area, some 6,000 ft above sea level and 180 km from Jammu, began late on Tuesday. It is still on.
"It is going to be a long haul," a senior police official said, adding that the terrain was "very difficult".
"We suspect that there are at least three to four militants hiding at the encounter site," he added.