Security forces on Friday managed to eliminate seven militants and the leader of the Hizbul Mijahideen militant group Sabzar Ahmad, who succeeded Burhan Wani as Hizbul commander after Wani was gunned down by the Army last year.
The Indian Amy also shot dead four other militants after an infiltration bid in Rampur sector of Kashmir. Forces had also on Friday killed two members of the Pakistani Border Action Team (BAT) along the LoC.
Hours later, a tip led them to a suspected hideout in Tral on Friday evening where Sabzar Ahmad, alias Abu Zarar is reported to have been hiding.
SP Vaid, director-general of Kashmir police, today confirmed the death of Ahmad.
Ahmad was killed in south Kashmir's Tral where forces raided a hideout on Friday evening, police said, adding that the encounter was still on.
The Army's northern command said operations were on, suggesting a third militant was being engaged.
The Army eliminated 6 militants along the line of control of the divided Kashmir, including two BAT operatives. They were shot dead in an encounter as they tried to enter Indian territory in the Rampur sector, according to an Army statement.
Based on specific inputs by military intelligence, the 42 Rashtriya Rifles and the Jammu and Kashmir police launched cordon and search operations in Saimuh near Hardumir, Tral in Pulwama district at around 7:30 pm on Friday. The security forces were then fired upon while placing the cordon at around 9:15pm. Since Saturday morning, security forces and the terrorists had been exchanging heavy fire.
Search operations are still underway as of Saturday afternoon.
Reports quoting sources, meanwhile, said Ahmad, who recently visited Srinagar, is very likely to have met Hurriyat leaders, seeking a truce after the spat with erstwhile Hizb leader Zakir Musa.