Three terrorists were gunned down Wednesday by security forces in an encounter in Tral of South Kashmir's Pulwama district.
Army spokesman Col. Rajesh Kalia told Anadolu Agency the three militants were killed in Gulab Bagh village in Tral.
"The operation is on", a police spokesperson said. Two civilians, identified as Firdous Ahmed Khan and Aqeel Ahmad Bhat were shot dead by the state government forces during the post encounter clashes. The gunfight was on when last reports came in, he said, adding further details were awaited.
"As the forces conducted the operation, the hidden militants fired at them".
However, the Hizb-ul Mujahideen in a statement said that the trio "who were part of so-called Zakir Musa group were coming back to rejoin Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, but got killed in a gunfight on way".
Police said two AK 47 rifles and a pistol were recovered from the encounter site.
Post encounter a huge mob pelted stones upon a camp.
Zahid Bhat had earlier hurled a grenade on a CRPF team. The security forces opened fire, injuring a person who later succumbed to his injuries.
Former Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist, the tech-savy Zakir Musa was announced as the head of the newly created Al-Qaida cell in Jammu and Kashmir, the Ansar Ghazwat-Ul-Hind on July 27.
However, they recently switched over to Zakir Musa's group.