Srinagar: Three Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists, including a 14-year-old ultra, were killed in an 18-hour encounter with security forces in Mujgund area of Bandipora road in Srinagar district of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday. A soldier and three civilians were also injured during the gunfight.

The slain militants were identified as Mudasir Rashid Parray and Saqib Bilal Sheikh — both residents of the Hajin area in Bandipora district — and from the evidence collected, one militant was learnt to be a Pakistani, identified as Ali. Out of these, Parray was reportedly 14 years of age and one of the youngest militants killed in the valley. His gun-wielding picture had surfaced on the social media earlier this week, after he had gone missing from his house in August. However, police could not confirm his age. ““We do not know if he was 14 or 16, though he looked young. There is no way to confirm whether he was the youngest militant ever or not,” an official said.

“A search operation was launched Saturday jointly by the police and the security forces, based on a credible input about the presence of militants in the Mujgund area on the Bandipora road,” a police spokesperson was quoted as saying in a PTI report. During the operation, the search party was fired upon by the hiding militants, he added.

Briefing about the operation further, he said, “In the initial exchange of fire, one Army jawan was injured, who is admitted to a hospital. Three civilians also sustained injuries as the area was open and they were shifted to a hospital. They are stated to be stable.”

A huge quantity of arms and ammunition, including rifles, was recovered from the encounter site. “All those materials have been taken in the case records for further investigation and probing the slain militants’ complicity in other terror cases,” the police spokesman said.

Ali, according to police records, was involved in several terror crimes and cases were registered against him, including for attacks on security establishments and civilian atrocities. He was involved in the recruitment of ultras in the Hajin and Sumbal areas of Bandipora.

The authorities had suspended mobile internet services in the city as a precautionary measure on Sunday morning. The services were, however, restored in the evening after the operation was concluded.