Srinagar, May 16 : A top commander of the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), five other militants and a soldier were among eight persons killed in two different encounters in the Kashmir valley on Thursday.
Meanwhile, authorities imposed restrictions and suspended mobile internet service in parts of south Kashmir as a precautionary measure.
Troops of Rashtriya Rifles (RR), CRPF and Special Operation Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir police launched a joint search operation in village Dalipora, Pulwama, following a tip off about presence of militants in the wee hours, a police spokesman said.
'As the police and security forces were evacuating civilians from the neighbourhood area around the target house, the militant hiding there, fired indiscriminately,' he said.
'An Army soldier, identified as Sepoy Sandeep Kumar, attained martyrdom and one civilian Rayees Dar also lost his life in the exchange of fire,” he said.
He said after the security forces retaliated, all the three militants were killed in the ensuing encounter.
'The bodies of the slain militants were retrieved and arms and ammunition was recovered from the site of encounter,' he added.
He said the slain militants were identified as Naseer Pandith of Kareemabad Pulwama, Umar Mir of Shopian. The third militant has been identified as Khalid, a Pakistani national.
According to the police records, he said the militants were affiliated with proscribed militant outfit JeM. 'They were wanted by law for their complicity in a series of militancy, including attack on security establishments and civilian atrocities,' he said.
He said as per police records, Naseer Pandith had a long history of terror and crime before joining the militant organisation and several cases were registered against him for planning and executing militant attacks in the area.
'Pandith was also involved in the killing of a policeman Mohammad Yaqoob Shah of Pulwama in 2018 on the eve of Eid. He was also involved in some weapon snatching incidents reported from the area besides several cases were registered against him,' the official said. (UNI)