Srinagar: Two hardcore ultras, including a self-styled divisional commander of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit, were killed on Monday in a 12-hour-long gunbattle in Pulwama district of south Kashmir, a police spokesman said.
Two army personnel including an officer were also injured in the encounter which took place at Shikargah area of Tral, 40 kms from Srinagar, the spokesman added.
Acting on a tip off about presence of some militants in the house of Mohammad Yousuf, police assisted by army cordoned off a village in Shikargah at around 7 PM last night.
The ultras opened fire on the search party following which the encounter broke out, which continued intermittently throughout the night, the spokesman said.
He said security forces maintained a tight vigil on the house and foiled repeated attempts by militants to flee the besieged area under the cover of darkness.
The security forces launched an assault on the militants shortly after dawn and killed both the ultras, who were later identified as self-styled divisional commander Muzaffar Ahmad Malla alias "Chota Moulvi" and his associate Suhail Khan alias "Shahid", the spokesman said.
Malla, who had received arms training in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, was one of the most wanted militants in south Kashmir.
He had joined militancy in early 1990 and was arrested in 2007. After his release, he rejoined militant ranks and was appointed Divisional Commander for south Kashmir following the killing of Sajjad Dar earlier this year.
Two AK assault rifles, four magazines, 14 rounds, an Under Barrel Grenade Launcher with a grenade and two Chinese hand grenades were recovered from the possession of the slain militants, the spokesman said.