Two militants were killed and an army soldier injured in a fierce gun-battle in Budgam district on Thursday.
A police official said the encounter started in the wee hours after the police, army and Central Reserve Police Force cordoned off Zagoo village in Khansahib area of Budgam following "a specific lead" about presence of militants there.
The forces zeroed in on the area and launched the "final assault" that led to killing of two militants, the official said.
Talking to reporters after the gunfight ended, commanding officer of army's 53 Rashtriya Rifles, Anoop Nair said the operation was launched on the basis of a specific input about presence of militants in Zagoo village.
"The hiding militants opened indiscriminate firing on the forces, triggering an encounter in which two militants were killed. Police is identifying them," Nair said.
Senior superintendent of police Budgam Tejinder Singh also confirmed the killing of two militants.
A police spokesman in a statement said an army soldier was also injured in the exchange of firing but he is said to be "out of danger."
The spokesman said the slain militants were identified as Mukhtar Ahmad Khan son of Abdul Ahad, a resident of Brass, Arizal and Muhammad Amin Mir son of Ghulam Rasool, a resident of Drangbal Pampore.
A police official said that "given the incriminating material recovered from the slain militants, it looks they were affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba."
Soon after the news of Pampore militant's killing spread, hundreds of youth hit the streets and resorted to intense stone-pelting on the forces in the highway township.
"Announcements were made on loudspeakers about the killing of Muhammad Amin Mir in Budgam encounter. Shopkeepers downed their shutters and traffic also went off the roads," said a witness.
He said forces were deployed in good numbers to ensure that the Srinagar-Jammu highway was through for traffic.
CLASHES AT ENCOUNTER SITE
While the gunfight was on, massive clashes between youth and forces erupted near the encounter site.
A witness said hundreds of youth while trying to inch closer to the encounter site, blocked roads with wooden logs, stones and rocks, and engaged forces in pitched battles.
"Forces responded with tear-gas shelling to disperse the protestors," the witness said.
"Several protestors were hurt in the clashes," the witness said.
SSP Budgam however said "mild force was used while quelling the stone pelting protests."
"We didn't use pellets. Situation was brought under control soon after the encounter ended," he said.
A police spokesman said locals are requested not to venture inside the encounter site since the area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials.
"People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of explosive materials, if any," the spokesman said.
Massive clashes in Pampore, 8 injured
Massive clashes between youth and forces erupted in Namblabal area of Pampore on Thursday following the killing of a local militant in a gunfight at Arizal village in central Budgam district in the wee hours of the day.
Muhammad Amin Mir of Drangbal Pampore and his associate Mukhtar Ahmad Khan of Brass Arizal were killed in a gun-batttle with forces in Zugoo area of Arizal.
A witness said that people, mostly youth, took to streets and pelted forces with stones after the news of Mir's killing spread in Pampore.
During the clashes, four people had received pellet injuries while four others including a woman suffered injuries due to stones after being caught in stone-pelting battles.
They were shifted to sub-district hospital Pampore where all of them were discharged after receiving the treatment, a doctor said.
The protesters also blocked Srinagar-Jammu highway near Namblabal, while the area observed a spontaneous shutdown.
Meanwhile, authorities blocked the mobile internet service in police district Awantipora as a "precautionary measure."