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