Srinagar, september 26:

Security forces claimed a big victory following an encounter in Sopore, said reports on Wednesday. The encounter that left two terrorists dead ended late on Tuesday. One of the men has been identified as Abu Maaz, Lashkar’s north Kashmir commander. Maaz was one of the longest surviving terrorists of Lashkar in Kashmir. He was involved in three civilian killing in Sopore area. His work reportedly involved receiving infiltrators and then deputing them to several parts of the state.

The Sopore encounter ended with the identification of Maaz, said reports. The encounter, that began on Tuesday morning, lasted for eight hours. Security forces got a tip-off that 2-3 terrorists were holed up in the area. Soldiers of 22 Rashtriya Rifles, Special Operations Group and CRPF began a search operation in the area.  However, an official told PTI, the search operation turned into an encounter after the militants opened fire on security forces. “In retaliatory action, two militants have been killed so far,” the official said.

Meanwhile, internet services were suspended and schools and colleges shut in Sopore. On Sunday, another encounter in Pulwama district had led to the killing of a Jaish-e-Mohammad commander, said reports.

Just a couple of days ago, in Kupwara, three militants were shot dead and a security personnel martyred in an anti-infiltration operation along the LoC.