Two Lashkar-e-Taiba militants, self-styled ‘commander’ Waseem Shah and Nasir Ahmad Khan, were killed in an encounter in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday morning. One Gulzar Ahmad Mir was also killed as protesters clashed with security forces after the killing of the militants. Mir was shifted to a Srinagar hospital but he died there of his injuries. Over 20 protesters were injured in the clashes.A search party of security forces, comprising the Special Operation Group and the Army, came under fire in the Litter area of Pulwama.”As the searches were intensified towards the suspected spot, the hiding militants fired upon government forces, triggering a gunfight,” the police said.PTI adds:This is the first counter-insurgency operation in Litter area in four years. The police have been tracking the movements of Shah, who is considered as the ‘don of Heff’, another traditional stronghold of militants in south Kashmir’s Shopian district. Shah, 23, also known as ‘Abu Osama Bhai’, was wanted in various terror-related cases and a resident of Heff-Shrimal in Shopian. Shah, a college dropout, joined the militancy in 2014 and was considered as the ‘chief architect’ of last year’s unrest in various parts of south Kashmir.Born in a middle-class family of Gul Mohammed Shah, who ran his fruit business, Shah was an active supporter of the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant since his school days and had doubled up as a courier boy for the outfit, police said.Of late, Shah, who carried a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head, was recruiting fresh cadres for the militant outfit.