An Army soldier was injured in the exchange of fire that took place at Manihal village in Shopian.
Police said the militants chose not to surrender even after the wife and children — a son and a daughter — of one of the four men were brought to the encounter site to appeal to them to give up the fight.
A video from the spot showed a five-year-old boy appealing to his father to come out of hiding.
“The four local militants were killed after they refused the offer to surrender,” Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar said at a press conference.
“We also brought the wife of one of the militants to persuade him, but the militants opened fire from inside the house,” he said.
Police cordoned off the area in the intervening night of Sunday and Monday after receiving information about the presence of militants in the village.
As the joint team of forces zeroed in on the house they were in, the militants opened fire, triggering a gunfight that ended with the killing of the trapped men.
Police identified the killed militants as Rayees Ahmad Bhat, Aqib Ahmad Malik, Aftab Ahmad Wani, and Amir Shafi Mir. Bhat, Malik, and Wani joined the militants’ ranks in October, November, and December last year; Mir became a militant only a month ago.