Srinagar: Two militants, including one of the dreaded and oldest militants Zeenat-ul-Islam, were gunned down on Saturday in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam district.Also Read - Our Aim is That No Civilian Gets Killed, Terrorism is Wiped Out From Valley: Amit Shah in Jammu Rally

Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Katpora area in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district last evening after receiving specific information about the presence of militants there, a police official said. Also Read - Amit Shah Inaugurates Srinagar-Sharjah International Flight, Says Move Will Help Boost Tourism

As the forces were conducting the searches, the militants fired upon them. The forces retaliated, ensuing an encounter in which two militants were killed, he said. Also Read - Delimitation Will Happen After Elections, Restoration Of Statehood, Says Amit Shah In Srinagar

Arms and ammunition were recovered from the encounter site, the official said, adding that no collateral damage has been reported.

One of them was identified as dreaded militant Zeenat-ul-Islam, who was associated with the terror group Al Badr, the official said, adding that the identity of the second militant is being ascertained.

Zeenat, considered as an Improvised explosive device (IED) expert, was earlier associated with another militant group Hizbul Mujahideen, the official said.

An A+++ category militants, Islam had joined militancy in 2015 and manage to escape several cordon and search operations in the last one year.

During the gunfight, clashes erupted near the site of encounter with the locals trying to give safe passage to the trapped militants.

Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti also tweeted about the operation.

“Clashes have erupted in Kulgam where two militants were killed by security forces. Can only hope it doesn’t set off a cycle of protests followed by civilian killings. Precisely why I was adamant on extension of the ceasefire initiative by GoI,” she said in her tweet.