Rising Kashmir editor-in-chief Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead in Srinagar earlier this year

The encounter took place in Sutkipora village of Bijbehara area of Anantnag district. Top LeT commander Azad Malik was among 6 terrorists killed today. He was one of the three attackers in Shujaat Bukhari's assassination. Bukhari was leaving work when he and his two bodyguards were attacked

In a major development in the assassination case of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari, one of the terrorists killed in the encounter in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag today, is believed to have been involved in the murder. The gunfight took place in Sutkipora village of the district's Bijbehara area.

According to reports, top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Azad Ahmad Malik was among the six terrorists killed on Friday. Earlier, the police had announced that Malik was among the three attackers behind Bukhari's murder.

"Yes, Azad Malik is one of the terrorists killed in this encounter today," a senior police officer said on Friday.

The six terrorists have been identified as Azad Ahmad Malik alias Dada of Arwani, Basit Mir of Khanabal, Unais/Anees of Takyibal, Bijbehara, Aqib of Waghama Bijbehara, Shahid from Awantipora and Firdaus Ahmad of Machpona, Pulwama.

The police have reportedly handed over the bodies of Malik and Mir to their respective families and the same was being done for the others as well.

"Based on an input about the presence of terrorists, a cordon and search operation was launched by a joint team of police and security forces at the onset of dawn today, inside the forest area of Shalgund-Sutkipora at Bijbehara in Anantnag district," said a police statement.

According to police, Azad Malik and another LeT commander Naveed Jhat had orchestrated the attack on journalist Shujaat Bukhari earlier this year. Bukhari was leaving his office for the day in Srinagar, when three assailants riding on a motorcycle shot him and his two bodyguards.