Top Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Waseem Shah, believed to be the main architect of the unrest a year ago in south Kashmir, was killed along with his accomplice by security forces in an encounter early Saturday morning in Pulwama district, police said.
Shah, 23, also known as "Abu Osama Bhai" was killed at Litter area in Pulwama, a place considered to be a safe haven for militants.
Khan said after plugging off all possible routes, security personnel zeroed in on a house, where the militants were hiding.
Both the terrorists were first asked to surrender but instead they started firing, compelling the troops to retaliate. "In the ensuing gunfight, two LeT militants including a top commander were killed", the IGP said. His name was Wasim Shah alias Usman, the district commander of LeT and was operating in Pulwama and Shopian districts.
The latest encounter comes just five days after a top commander of Jaish-e-Mohammed, Umer Khalid, a Pakistani national was killed in an encounter with security forces in north Kashmir's Sopore area. He had joined ranks in March 2014. A resident of Shopian, he was on the army most wanted list of 12 militants.
He had been involved in various attacks on security forces in South Kashmir, police said.
The IGP said another militant killed in gunfight Nisar had joined militancy early this year.
Immediately after the news about the killings of the LeT militants spread in the area, announcements were made through mosque public address systems asking people to come out and stage protests.
Seven people sustained pellet injuries after the police fired pellets and teargas shells on the protesters. Four injured persons were taken to a local hospital for treatment and another injured is admitted to a Srinagar hospital, the eyewitnesses claimed.
After the civilian was killed in clashes, authorities suspended mobile internet services in south Kashmir's Pulwama district.
A police spokesman said the policemen were returning to Kulgam after dropping PDP MLA Abdul Majid Padder at his residence in Noorabal in Damhal Hanjipora when militants attacked their vehicle at Nadimarg morh in Kulgam in the evening. A Bomb Disposal Squad was rushed to the area, who defused the device, police said. However, no arrests were reported.