Two militants including a commander of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) were killed on Friday in a gunfight with the security forces in south Kashmir's Kulgam district.
Security forces surrounded two houses in Arwani village of Kulgam district. When the forces closed in on the hiding militants they opened fire triggering an encounter, police said.
"Two militants including a commander of the LeT outfit identified as Junaid Mattoo have been killed", police sources said.
Reports from the area said the security forces used improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to blast the two houses where the militants had been hiding.
A civilian identified as Muhammad Ashraf Khar, 22, was killed in clashes between the security forces and a stone pelting mob which gathered near the encounter site. Twelve protesting civilians were injured in these clashes.
The encounter started at 10 AM after security forces, including army personnel, cordoned off a house at Malik Mohalla in Arwani village following an intelligence tip-off that three militants were present inside, officials said.
Security forces cordoned off the house by 8 AM and there was a patient wait for two hours before the first fire came from the house at 10 AM, they said.
Five civilians received pellet injuries when they made an attempt to stall the ongoing counter-insurgency operation, officials said.
Chatter from the terror group suggested that Junaid Mattoo, a local boy of Khudwani, was among the three trapped inside the house along with Azad Malik and a Pakistani terrorist.
Mattoo had gained notoriety after he shot dead two policemen in broad daylight at the busy Anantnag bus stand in June 2016. He was seen on CCTV footage carrying out the dastardly act.
(With PTI inputs)