Srinagar: In a major achievement, the security forces on Saturday gunned down six terrorists, including Zakir Musa’s close aide Soliha Mohammad, during an encounter in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir. Soliha, alias Rehaan Khan, is the deputy chief of Zakir Musa.

According to reports, the six slain terrorists belong to Zakir Musa’s terror outfit Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind — a cell of Al-Qaeda operating in the Kashmir valley.

“Six terrorists have been killed in the Tral area encounter. Weapons and war-like stores have been recovered. The operation is over,” Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said here.

Security forces had launched a cordon and search operation in Arampora village in Awantipora area of the south Kashmir district this morning following specific intelligence input about the presence of militants there, a police official said.

He said as the forces were conducting searches, militants fired upon them, triggering the encounter.

Mobile Internet service in the district and rail services between the valley and the Bannihal town of Jammu region was suspended.

Earlier this month, three militants, including top Hizbul Mujahideen commander Zahoor Thoker, were killed and a soldier was martyred in Pulwama. Seven civilians were also killed in separate clashes in the neighbouring Sirnoo village.