Two Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militants were killed in a gun battle with the police and security forces in the Malroo area on the outskirts of Srinagar on Thursday.

Their bodies have been recovered and two more militants are believed to be trapped. Two houses were also damaged in the encounter.

A police spokesperson said the police and the Army had cordoned off the Zari Mohallaafter a tip-off. The joint operation was launched by the Sumbal police and 2 Rashtriya Rifles.

There was heavy exchange of fire between the two sides even as many civilians, including children and women, were evacuated to safety. The forces sent a few locals to persuade the militants to surrender, but the offer was rejected, police sources told The Hindu.

Srinagar Senior Superintendent of Police Syed Aashiq Bukhari told journalists that search was on for the third militant. “The militants were coming towards Srinagar city from the Bandipora district. They were being tracked by the security forces since last evening [Wednesday evening],” he said. One person, detained on suspicion, is being questioned.

Reports suggested that helicopters were seen flying low over the area. A defence spokesperson said the movement of choppers in the area was for routine administrative purposes as the headquarters of the counter-insurgency ‘Kilo Force' are located in the nearby Sharifabad area.

Director-General of Police Kuldeep Khoda said steps were being taken to thwart militancy.