One local Laskhar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant has been killed in an ongoing operation in south Kashmir's Pulwama district, more than 40 km from here, after a gunfight on Thursday afternoon.
Two militants were caught trapped at the residence of one Ghulam Muhammad at Astan Mohalla, Kakpora, in Pulwama district, when security personnel cordoned off the area.
"As the army zeroed in on the house, the militants in a bid to escape from the house resorted to indiscriminate firing. The retaliation from our part resulted in the killing of a militant," said an army official.
A huge contingent of army personnel from 50 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel from 182 and 183 Battalions and Special Operations Group (SOG) Pulwama were involved in the operation.
The house is located between an army and a CRPF camp. "The operation is on. There are reports of one more militant hiding in the area," said police officials.
The slain militant has been identified as Talib Ahmad Shah, who was active in the district since 2012 and was designated as a local commander by the LeT. Shah had a masters' degree in physical education and was picked up a number of times by the police for resorting to stone pelting.
"All efforts are on to either capture the associate of Talib alive or neutralise him. He is still fighting but we have closed all the escape routes," said the police spokesman.
The security forces are facing a tough time in continuing with the operation as protesters in the area marched toward the encounter site. The protesters are hampering the ongoing operation.
"It may take time to call off the encounter. There is a law and order problem. The situation in the area is tense but under control," said another police official.
Several protesters were injured as they clashed with security forces who disallowed their march towards the encounter site.