The police and security on Thursday claimed to have killed three militants of the Lashkar-e-Taiba in two separate gun battles in Sopore area of north Kashmir.

Sopore Superintendent of Police Imtiyaz Hussain Mir told The Hindu that out of the three, two were believed to be Pakistani nationals. He the police and the Army, along with marine commandos, launched a cordon-and-search operation in Cherhaar forest area, near Watlab, 75 km from Srinagar, in the early hours on Wednesday. However, both the militants escaped.

Mr. Hussain said that on Thursday morning, the police and the Army swooped down on a hideout in the same area. One militant identified as Omar Ahsan Bhat of Yamrach, Kulgam, died in the encounter. Mr. Mir said that four soldiers also sustained minor injuries.On yet another information, the police and the Army launched a cordon-and-search operation at Munji, Botengo, on Sopore-Bandipore Road. Two militants got killed.