Security forces launched a cordon and search operation following information about presence of militants in Avneera village of Zainapora area of the district yesterday.
Three Kashmiri rebels and two Indian soldiers have been killed in a fierce gunbattle in the disputed Himalayan region, police said Sunday.
"As the security forces came close to the house where the terrorists were hiding, they were fired upon, triggering an encounter", said the police official.
Operational commander of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Yasin Itoo alias Mehmood Ghaznavi is believed to be among the holed up terrorists.
The gunfight also left two soldiers martyred while unknown number of militants reportedly escaped from the spot.
One J&K soldier was injured in the attack, who was later shifted to the military hospital Drugmulla for treatment. He had vanished from the militancy scene and was believed to be dead with the Hurriyat offering his in-absentia funeral prayers past year. A dozen stone-pelting protesters were injured in clashes with security forces in the area.
Clashes broke out in the village Saturday evening with youth hitting roads and throwing brickbats on government forces, apparently in a bid to help militants break the cordon.
A civilian, Imtiyaz Ahmad Mir, who sustained injuries in a petrol bomb explosion succumbed to his injuries.