Srinagar: Two terrorists were killed in an encounter with the security forces during wee hours on Thursday. The exchange of fire took place in Bagender Mohalla of Bijbehara in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Currently, a search operation is underway.

The encounter broke out as the security forces laid a cordon and search operation in the region on the basis of specific inputs of 2 to 3 terrorists hiding in area. As forces approached the area, the militants open fired on them, triggering a gunfight.

Briefing about the encounter, the J&K police revealed that incriminating material including arms and ammunition was recovered from the site. A case has also been registered in connection with the operation.

Earlier last week, two militants were neutralised in an encounter with the security forces in Shopian district. “Following a brief shoot out in the orchard area of Gahand village the two militants were killed. Their exact identities and affiliations are being ascertained,” an officer was quoted as saying by IANS, following the encounter.

On Wednesday, General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 15 Corps, Lt. Gen KJS Dhillon, informed that since Pulwama terror attack on February 14, a total of 41 terrorists have been eliminated by the Indian Army.

“This year, a total of 69 terrorists have been killed and 12 apprehended. Post Pulwama, 41 terrorists have been killed out of which 25 were from Jaish-E-Mohammad. Out of those 25, 13 were Pakistanis and 13 were A+ category militants,” Dhillon said.

Responding to a question on the number of foreign and local militants active in the Valley, he told, “Whosoever picks up a gun will be eliminated.”

Meanwhile, DGP Dilbagh Singh termed 2018 a very successful year as far as law and order situation is concerned in the Valley. “Several youths who joined the militant ranks were brought back into the mainstream. A total of 46 Jaish and Lashkar commanders were eliminated last year and this year. 27 of these were from Jaish and 19 were from Lashkar-e-Toiba,” he said.

He also said that recruitment level from locals among the terrorist rank and files is going down.

“We saw many positive trends during 2018 which is a very satisfying for us as the team and I as the DGP being concerned about the people and the state,” the DGP added.

(Inputs from ANI)