Three Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists, including a self-styled commander of the outfit, were killed in an encounter with security forces near the route of the annual Amarnath Yatra in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday, police said.
Based on specific inputs about the presence of terrorists in the Srichand Top forest area in Pahalgam, Anantnag, security forces launched a cordon and search operation there, a police official said.
He said the search operation turned into an encounter after the hiding terrorists fired at the security forces.
In retaliation, three terrorists were killed, the official said.
The ultras belonged to the Hizbul Mujahideen outfit, he added.
Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar identified one of the slain ultras as Ashraf Molvi -- one of the oldest surviving terrorists of the outfit.
Ashraf Molvi (one of oldest surviving #terrorist of HM #terror outfit) along with two other terrorists killed, he said on Twitter.
Kumar said the operation on the Amarnath Yatra route was a major success for the security forces.
Pahalgam, the famous tourist resort in south Kashmir, also serves as one of the base camps for the yatra, which is scheduled to start from June 30 after a gap of two years.