There were no reports of any casualties so far, a police official added. (Representative image) Photograph: (AFP)
The 12-hour gunbattle started after security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation following information about presence of terrorists
Two army soldiers were killed and three injured after a 20-hour gunbattle between terrorists of the Hizbul Mujahideen and security forces in Shopian district of south Kashmir early Sunday.
The terrorists killed included Hizbul Mujahideen's operational commander Yasin Itoo, also known as "Ghaznavi".
Yasin Itoo, who joined the Hizbul Mujahideen in 1996, was also accused of inciting unrest in the Valley after the death of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani in an encounter last year.
The two others were identified as Irfan ul Haq Sheikh from Shopian and Umar Majid Sheikh from Kulgam. Irfan was involved in online propaganda for the terrorist outfit. Umar Majid was Itoo's personal security man.
Delhi: Army chief Bipin Rawat paid tribute to Sepoy Ilayaraja P & Sepoy Gowai Sumedh Waman who lost their lives in Shopian encounter. pic.twitter.com/lDtWWdYKxK— ANI (@ANI) August 13, 2017
The encounter broke out late Saturday after security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation following information about the presence of terrorists in Avneera village of Zainapora area of the district.
Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Munir Khan, said, "The terrorists initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics, and mortars who were believed to be in the village".
Separately, two policemen were wounded when they were shot by militants in north Kashmir’s Bandipora, ANI reported.