SRINAGAR, India (Reuters) - Two Indian soldiers and three militants were killed in a 12-hour gunfight in South Kashmir's Shopian district, a top police official said on Sunday.


The gunfight began on Saturday night when militants hiding inside a village opened fire on security forces, who were conducting a search in the area following a tip-off about the presence of three members of Hizbul Mujahideen - the largest of the anti-Indian Kashmiri militant groups.


The gun battle went on until Sunday morning.


"Three terrorists were killed in the encounter," S.P. Vaid, director general of the state police, told reporters. "We lost two officers and three army personnel were injured."


Indian security forces have launched a massive offensive against militants, killing 135 of them this year. Nearly 150 militants were killed last year.


(Reporting by Fayaz Bukhari, Editing By Rajesh Kumar Singh and Kim Coghill)