A self-styled district commander of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) was shot dead in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday.

Acting on specific information about the presence of the top commander in Thachna-Gokund forests in Nawapachi belt in the district, troops of 11 Rastriya Rifles and Police cordoned the area and launched a search operation, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kishtwar Bhim Sen Toti said.

As the troops closed in around the forest hideout, militants fired on them resulting in a fierce gun battle as troops fired back early this morning, he said.

In the gun battle, ‘district commander’ of HM, Sajjad Ahmed Mir alias Rizwan was killed, he said.

Troops also recovered one AK-47 rifle, two magazines, 37 ammunition rounds and one radio set from the encounter spot.

He was active in South of Pir Panchal ranges in Doda-Kishtwar belt for the past 11 years.