Two Jaish-e-Mohammad militants were killed in a firefightwith government forces in southern Shopian district on Wednesday morning.
One of the slain militants, identified as Suhail Nazir Mir,19, a resident of Saidpora, Payeen village of the district, had signed up forthe militant outfit nearly three months ago, while the other militant is saidto be a Pakistani national.
According to a police official, the gunfight began at around5am after a joint a team of the army, special operations group of J&Kpolice and central reserve police force (CRPF) came under heavy fire frommilitants during a search operation in Meemender village, barley 1.5km from themain town, Shopian.
"The operation was launched after the joint forces receivedinformation about the presence of militants in the area," the official added.
He said that as soon as militants opened fire on the forces,the latter responded at full throttle, leading to an encounter.
The militants, after a few hours, according to the official,were hit in an orchard when they tried to run away.
"The bodies of two militants pockmarked with bullet holeswere recovered from the site," the official said.
This is the second encounter in the district since Januarythis year. On January 22, three militants, including the brother of an IPSofficer, were killed in Heff village of the district.
A total of eight Jaish-e-Mohammad militants were killed inthree districts of southern Kashmir—Pulwama, Kulgam and now Shopian—sinceFebruary 14 when a local member of the outfit rammed an explosive packedvehicle into a moving CRPF convoy in Lethpora area along Srinagar-Jammuhighway, killing at least 40 personnel of the force.
Despite the frosty weather conditions, thousands of mournersthronged the native village of Mir to attend his last rites.
Local residents told Greater Kashmir that as soon as the bodyof Mir reached his village, a thick crowd of mourners from adjoining andfar-off places converged there and participated in his funeral prayers.
After at least five rounds of funeral prayers, Mir was laidto rest in his ancestral graveyard amid pro-Islam and pro-freedom slogans
Before joining the militancy on December 11 last year, Mirworked in a bakery at his native village.
He is survived by his parents, three brothers and twosisters.
Meanwhile, authorities blocked the cellular internetservices in the area.