Terror groups in the Valley suffered a major setback as 12 terrorists were gunned down in counter-insurgency operations in three different areas in South Kashmir in which three Army jawans and four civilians were also killed.
While one is underway in Kachdoora area of Shopian, the second one is taking place at Dragad village, according to reports.
At a hurriedly called joint press conference of army, police and CRPF, Jammu and Kashmir Police chief S P Vaid said this is one of the biggest counter-offensives in recent times against terror groups operating in the Kashmir Valley.
The operations by security forces rendered a severe dent to militant groups such as the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Lashker-e-Taiba, officials said here.
Three army jawans have lost their lives in the operations at Kachdooru in Shopian, officials said, adding three bodies of militants have been recovered from the debris so far.
The operation has been called off at Kachdooru and the security personnel were search the debris tomorrow again, the officials said.
Earlier, at a press conference called at Victor Force headquarters at Awantipura, around 33 kms from here, Corps Commander of XV Corps, Lt Gen A K Bhatt, termed it one of the biggest operations in recent times and said the death of Lt Umar Fayaz, who was brutally killed in Shopian last year, had been avenged.
"Among the militants killed are Ishfaq Malik and Rayees Thokar. They were responsible for his death," Bhatt said. Fayaz, 22, was killed by militants in May last year. His body was found with bullet wounds in the Hermain area of Shopian district in south Kashmir.
As reported by ANI, the encounter began in the early hours of Sunday and ended with one militant being eliminated and a newly-recruited militant arrested. No injury was reported to anyone in the gunfight with the terrorists.
On February 10, a group of militants had attacked the Sunjwan Army camp, killing five jawans and a civilian. Three terrorists were also gunned down by the security forces.