Three militants, including a self-styled top commander of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), were killed and two security personnel injured in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam district on Friday, police said.
The security forces launched a cordon and search operation early Friday morning in Nagnad area of Kulgam district following information about the presence of militants there, a police official said.
The hiding militants opened fire on the security forces, who retaliated, he said.
Three militants were killed and two security personnel injured in the gunbattle, the official said.
Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar at a press conference said one the militants has been identified as Waleed Bhai, a commander of JeM and an IED expert, while the identity of the other two was being ascertained.
"Waleed Bhai had escaped from the cordon (of the security forces) four times so far. He was one among the 12 most wanted militant commanders," he said.
The IGP said his killing was a huge success for the security forces.
"Today's encounter is a huge success for the security forces as Waleed Bhai was active for the past one and a half years and was operating in South Kashmir areas, including Qazigund highway stretch," he said, adding that the security forces have recovered a US made M-4 carbine from him.
Asked whether there were more IED experts of JeM alive, Kumar said, "There is one more Pakistani militant whose name is Adnan Bhai alias Lamboo Bhai, who is also an IED expert of Jaish. So, the IED attack threat remains".
He said the security forces will track and neutralise all of them.