A top militant commander was killed by security forces in Indian-administered Kashmir on Sunday, police said.
Saifullah Mir was commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen, the oldest and largest militant group operating in the region.
Kashmir Inspector-General of Police Vijay Kumar said security forces, acting on intelligence about the presence of Mir in a neighbourhood on the outskirts of regional capital Srinagar, had cordoned off the area and begun a search operation.
While the search was on, the members of the security forces were fired upon, prompting them to retaliate, and a clash ensued. While Mir was killed in the exchange of fire with the security forces, another suspect was arrested during the clash, Kumar added.
“It is a major success for the security forces’ fight against militancy in the region,” Kumar said.
Mir succeeded Riyaz Naikoo as commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen after Naikoo was killed in a gun battle with security forces in May.
The insurgent was wanted by security agencies for several militant attacks on security forces, police sources said.
Indian-administered Kashmir has seen a separatist insurgency since the 1980s. Tens of thousands of people have been killed.
India claims that Pakistan supports Kashmiri militants, a charge Islamabad denies, calling them freedom fighters.