Baramulla, Apr 23 (UNI) A fierce encounter was on between two top commanders of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), holed up in a house, and security forces in the town near here since early this morning.
Reports said one of the militants was killed but this could not be confirmed officially as the exchange of fire was still on.
Meanwhile, the town observed a complete shut down with hundreds of people taking to the streets in support of the holed up militants.
Official sources said Army and Special Operation Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir police launched a joint operation in Hyderpora locality at Khwaja Bagh, about 2 km from here at 0100 hrs following a tip-off about the presence of militants there.
They said when the troops were about to storm the three-storeyed house of Mushtaq Ahmad, militants opened indiscriminate firing from inside.
Later, reinforcements were rushed to the area to cordoned around the house.
Sharp shooters took position in the nearby houses after the militants refused to surrender despite repeated warnings.
Shops and business establishments in the town and adjoining areas remained closed. However, a number of vehicles could be seen plying on different routes.
Work in the government offices and educational institutions was affected due to tense situation in the town as exchange of firing could be heard in the entire town.
Hundreds of people, who took to the streets were raising ''pro- freedom' and security forces slogans.
UNI BAS SB DS1335