After the incident, clashes broke out between protesters and security forces at almost a dozen places in the Valley, including downtown Srinagar, Tral, Pampore, Pulwama town and Anantnag in south Kashmir, Hajin in Bandipora and Sopore in Baramulla in north Kashmir. Search and combing operations are still going on in the village.
Sources said they were on barricade duty at Thajiwara in Achabal following inputs of terrorist movement in the area.
The bodies of the three militants were handed over to their respective families on Saturday morning and a big funeral was held for Mattoo in which people from different parts of south Kashmir participated.
Officials say dozens of youth have joined the rebel ranks since last July after a popular rebel leader was killed by security forces, sparking months of wide-scale protests in the territory. The militant organization Lashkar-e-Toiba claimed responsibility of the one of the deadliest attacks on the police in recent times. Srinagar district magistrate Farooq Ahmad Lone said curfew was clamped in Rainawari, Khanyar, Nowhatta, MR Gunj and Safa Kadal areas to maintain law and order.
Police had laid a cordon around a house in Malik Mohalla in Arwani village at 8 AM yesterday following an intelligence tip off about the presence of three militants there.
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The security forces were complimenting each other on the death of the LeT commander, but within hours, a group of 10-15 heavily armed LeT militants ambushed a vehicle carrying six policemen, including station house officer (SHO) of Achabal police station in Anantnag district.
During Friday's encounter, two civilians were also killed. Security forces used force to disperse protesters at highway town of Pampore where clashes erupted after the news spread about the killing of LeT ultras. A senior police officer said this was the first such terror attack on the security forces since the advent of militancy in Kashmir in 1990.
On Thursday, suspected rebels fired at police officials at two places in the restive region killing two of them, police said.
Authorities suspended mobile internet services in the Valley to prevent mobilisation of stonepelters and mobs.