The fighting erupted Saturday after Indian troops raided southern Awneera village on a tip that at least seven rebels fighting New Delhi's rule over Kashmir were hiding there, said top police officer S.P. Vaid. As the security personnel approached, Ittoo and his men opened fire, wounding five Army personnel, two of whom were later martyred. They were later evacuated to Army Base Hospital for the treatment, where two among them succumbed to their injuries.
The security forces have launched "Operation All-out" against militants across the Kashmir Valley and, so far, this year as many as 136 militants, including six commanders, have been "neutralised". He was one of the longest surviving militants in Kashmir.
Three terrorists were also killed in the encounter.
The slain militants were identified as Mohammad Yasin Itoo alias Gaznavi, Umar Majid Sheikh and Irfan ul Sheikh, all locals.
Anti-India protests followed the fighting Saturday and Sunday, leading to clashes between rock-throwing residents and government forces who fired shotgun pellets and tear gas.
Three Kashmiri youth were martyred in Indian occupied Kashmir's (IoK) Shopian district on Sunday, the Kashmir Media Service (KSM) reported.
Two policemen identified as Mukhtiyar and Fayaz Ahmad and sepoy Raj Kumar were injured in the militant attack.
Ghaznavi, 41, was the operational chief of the outfit in Kashmir and was one of the longest surviving militants in the Valley and had successfully mobilized the Hizbul cadres after the killing of Burhan Wani in July previous year. The injured security personnel were hospitalized. The operation was executed by Special Operations Group of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, Army, and the CRPF.