The security forces have launched "Operation all-out" against militants across the Kashmir Valley. Three others, including a captain, have been injured, the police said.
Yasin Itoo, alias Mehmood Ghaznavi, the operational commander of the Hizbul, was among those killed in the gunfight in Awneera village in Shopian. They are Martyr Sep Gawai Sumedh Waman and Martyr Sep Ilayaraja P. Top police official told Mirror that the other two HM terrorists killed in the encounter were identified as Irfan-ul-Haq, a resident of Maldara Zainapora; and Umar Majeed Mir, a resident of Kulgam. Meanwhile, stone pelting clashes erupted near the encounter site.
Earlier, the third militant was believed to be Adil Malik.
After the operation got over, Director General of Police of Jammu & Kashmir SP Vaid, tweeted, "Today morning 3 Terrorists Eliminated at Zainpora Shopian".
Itoo, often called a "vintage militant" as he joined Hizbul Mujahideen in 1996, had surrendered in 2007 and later released on parole in 2014. The sacrifice of Yasin Itoo and his two associates will be remembered for times to come because they stood the ground and allowed his associates to escape safely thus setting a great example of bravery and leading by example he said and added that "it is an irreparable loss".
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The injured soldiers are being treated at the army's base hospital in Badami Bagh area of Srinagar.
After receiving intelligence inputs that a group of two to three militants were hiding in the village, security forces including Rashtriya Rifles, state police and the CRPF surrounded the area on Saturday.
In another incident, three security personnel, including two policemen and an army soldier, sustained injuries when militants fired at a cordon laying party in Hajin area of Bandipora district on Sunday.
Internet services have been blocked in Badgam district following the identification of Itoo among the slain militants.