An associate of the dead Hizbul commander Burhan Wani was killed along with two other terrorists in an encounter in poll-bound Shopian district, Jammu and Kashmir police officials said on Friday. The encounter took place at the Imam Sahib area of the south Kashmir district following a cordon and search operation there in the early hours of Friday, they said.
"Three militants have been killed in the operation," an official engaged in the operation said.
The killed terrorists included Lateef Dar alias 'Lateef Tiger'. He had been arrested and was subsequently out on bail. He was supposed to appear before a district judge after completion of his bail but the accused failed to appear and later in October 2014, he was seen moving along side Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists.
The terrorist was accused of being involved in many killings, including that of sarpanchs in south Kashmir.
"He was one of the last surviving vintage model of terrorists. After his elimination, the old guard of militants only include Riyaz Naikoo and Zakir Moosa," the official said.
Lateef Tiger had been associated with Burhan Wani, the poster boy of terror group Hizbul Mujahideen.
After Wani's death in July 2016, he became a close aide of Naikoo, who is the so-called operational commander of Hizbul Mujahideen at present.
Clashes between protesters and law enforcing personnel broke out near the encounter site after some people threw stones at security forces engaged in the anti-terrorism operation, the officials said. They said two persons suffered minor pellet injuries in the security forces' action to chase them away.