The week-long joint anti-terror operation in the Garol forests in the Anantnag district has ended, additional DGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar said on Tuesday but the search operation will continue. Kumar said that the body recovered on Monday has been identified as that of Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Uzair Khan. The body of another terrorist has been seen but is yet to be recovered, he added.

“The search will continue as a lot of area is to be covered where there are blind shells which are to be destroyed,” the ADG said.

“We had information of two-three terrorists. We will continue the search to look if there is a third terrorist,” he said.

The police officer also advised people against going into the area as there may be live grenades and shells.

Police officials have maintained silence on the operation for the last four days. They believed two to three terrorists were trapped in the forest area.

The operation started on Wednesday when Colonel Manpreet Singh, commanding officer, 19 Rashtriya Rifles, Major Ashish Dhonchak and deputy superintendent of Jammu and Kashmir Police Humayun Bhat were killed by terrorists. The body of another soldier Pradeep, who had gone missing on the first day of the encounter, was recovered on Monday.

Officials had said earlier that drone footage showed a charred body near one of the terrorist hideouts destroyed during the operation. Security forces have been using drones and helicopters to survey the dense forest area with several cave-like hideouts where terrorists are believed to have been holed up since Wednesday.

On Sunday, the security cordon was extended to the neighbouring Posh Kreeri area as a precautionary measure to ensure the terrorists don't slip into civilian areas.

Addressing a function late on Sunday evening, Lt Governor Manoj Sinha said every drop of blood of the slain security personnel will be avenged and the terrorist handlers will have to pay a heavy price. "We have complete faith in our soldiers.... The entire nation stands in solidarity with the jawans," Sinha said.

Top officials of the security grid in Kashmir, including the director general of police (DGP) and general officer commanding (GOC) of the Army's 15 Corps, have been monitoring the operation.

Who was Lashkar Terrorist Uzair Khan?

Uzair Khan, a resident of Nagam in Anantnag, had gone missing last in July year to join the terrorism.

He dropped out of school in his Class 12 and then did a course in electrical work.

Uzair Khan used to work as an electrician in the village.