Three top Lashkar-e-Toiba militants were among the five ultras killed in three separate encounters with security forces in Kashmir Valley on Wednesday.

Acting on a tip off, police assisted by the army, cordoned off Satkoji area near Zachaldara in Kupwara, 80 km from here. The militants hiding in the forest opened fire at the joint search party and in the ensuing encounter, three foreign militants owing allegiance to LeT were killed, a police spokesman said.

One of the slain militants has been identified as Abu Hamza, a top LeT Pakistani militant.

Another militant was killed in a gunfight with security forces at Trikanjan in Baramulla district, 90 km from here, this morning, the spokesman said.

Security forces also resumed operation this morning to flush out militants hiding in Khrew forests in Pulwama district of South Kashmir and recovered body of a militant, a defence ministry spokesman said.

The gunbattle broke out on Tuesday when security forces launched an operation in the area in which a security personnel was injured.

The operation was suspended last evening due to darkness after which security forces sealed all exit points to prevent escape of hiding militants.

As the day broke, security forces resumed the operation and body of a militant was recovered, he said, adding, the operation was still going on when last reports came in.

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