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Lateef Tiger among three militants killed in encounter in J-K's Shopian district

The Jammu and Kashmir Police achieved a breakthrough Friday after Lateef Dar alias 'Lateef Tiger', who was an associate of slain Hizbul commander Burhan Wani, was killed along with two other militants in an encounter in poll-bound Shopian district, officials said.

The encounter took place at the Imam Sahib area of the south Kashmir district following a cordon and search operation there in the early hours of Friday, they said.

Officials added that after a brief exchange of fire, the cordon was strengthened to prevent the militants from escaping.

"Three militants have been killed in the operation," an official engaged in the operation said.

The killed militants included Lateef Tiger, who had joined militancy in 2014. He had been arrested and was subsequently out on bail.

He was supposed to appear before a district judge after completion of his bail but the accused failed to appear and later in October 2014, he was seen moving along side Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists.

The militant was accused of being involved in many killings, including that of sarpanchs in south Kashmir.

"He was one of the last surviving vintage model of terrorists. After his elimination, the old guard of militants only include Riyaz Naikoo and Zakir Moosa," the official said.

Lateef Tiger had been associated with Burhan Wani, the poster boy of terror group Hizbul Mujahideen.

After Wani's death in July 2016, he became a close aide of Naikoo, who is the so-called operational commander of Hizbul Mujahideen at present.

Clashes between protestors and law enforcing personnel broke out near the encounter site after some people hurled stone at security forces engaged in the anti-militancy operation, the officials said.

They said two persons suffered minor pellet injuries in the security forces' action to chase away the miscreants.