Srinagar | Jagran News Desk: In what could be termed as a huge success for the security forces in the Valley, three militants affiliated with the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) were gunned down in an early morning operation on Friday in Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian district.

The officials, however, said that a Jammu and Kashmir policeman was martyred in the operation while another one was injured and is getting treated in a local hospital.

"One police personnel Special Police Officer (SPO) Mohammad Altaf has lost his life and Sg Ct Manzoor Ahmad injured in an ongoing operation in Budgam," the Jammu and Kashmir Police said in a statement, as reported by news agency ANI.

Speaking about Saturday's operation, the Jammu and Kashmir Police said that a search and cordon operation was launched in Zanigam village in the Beerwah area following information about the presence of militants there.

The officials said that terrorists opened fire at the security forces in which a policeman lost his life. They said that huge cache of arms and ammunition has been recovered from the encounter spot, adding that further searches are underway.

"Three unidentified terrorists have been killed in the Shopian encounter. Incriminating materials, including arms and ammunition, recovered. Search is going on," the Jammu and Kashmir Police said.

Since January last year, the security forces have launched an all-out operation against terrorism in the Valley. Last week, the officials had arrested Lashkar-e-Taiba-backed The Resistance Front (TRF) terrorist Zahoor Ahmad Rather from Valley's Samba district.

Rather was the main suspect behind the killing of the three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers -- Fida Hussain, Umer Hajam and Umer Rashid Beigh -- in Kulgam's Vessu last year.

"A team of Police from Anantnag arrested the militant, Zahoor Ahmad Rather alias Sahil alias Khalid of TRF from Samba on the intervening night of February 12 and 13," the Jammu and Kashmir Police had said on February 13.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma