One civilian, a woman, was killed in the crossfire. The other, a man, died security forces' action against protesters who had gathered near the encounter site. (Representative image) Photograph: (ANI)
Police said one of the militants was a top LeT commander
Two militants, including a commander of terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba were killed in a gunbattle with security forces in Kashmir's Anantnag on Saturday.
Police said the LeT commander was Bashir Lakshari, and that he had been involved in the killing of SHO Feroz Ahmed and five other policemen on the outskirts of Anantnag district on June 16.
Two civilians were also killed and six other people wounded in the crossfire between security forces and militants inside a house.
Jammu and Kashmir Inspector General Munir Khan said 17 people had been evacuated from the house and arms and ammunition had been recovered from them.
The encounter broke out after soldiers and special counterinsurgency police forces surrounded a neighbourhood in Batipora village, acting on a tip off that armed militants were hiding in the area.
The militants had a few villagers in the building with them, and police officials said they were using them as human shields.
Witnesses disputed that, saying that local residents went to the house where the rebels were holed up to help them as the soldiers arrived in the area, AFP reported.
The first victim, a woman identified as 44-year-old Tahira, was killed in the crossfire. She was rushed to the district hospital but died from her injuries shortly afterwards.
The second, a 21-year-old man identified as Shadab Ahmad Chopan, was killed in security forces' action against protesters who had gathered near the encounter site. Stone throwing and clashes were also reported from the area.
As gunshots were heard in the area hundreds of villagers came out on to the streets shouting anti-India slogans and throwing stones at soldiers in their attempts to break the cordon and help the rebels escape.
J&K: Two LeT terrorists, Bashir Lashkari & Azad Malik, gunned down by security forces during an encounter in Anantnag. pic.twitter.com/CAVhvSD1Jw— ANI (@ANI_news) July 1, 2017
"The lady was killed while we were laying a cordon," Inspector General of police Muneer Ahmed Khan told AFP.
The fighting ended when the two militants were killed, the local director general of police SP Vaid told AFP.
Police had earlier said there were a total of four militants holed up at the encounter site.