DGP Vaid said the search operation turned into an encounter as the hiding militants fired upon the forces conducting the searches.
Three militants were killed by security forces in an operation in north Kashmir's Baramulla on Monday morning. A woman also died near the operation site.
"Three Pakistani militants have been neutralised by the joint team of forces in Unsoo, Handwara," said Director General of Police, Kashmir, S.P. Vaid.
A police official said the militants were killed in a gunfight during the night on the Sopore-Kupwara highway. The operation was started around 12:30 am following "specific information about presence of some militants".
The bodies are being identified. A number of rifles were also recovered.
One woman, identified as Misra Bano, was also found dead near the encounter site.
DIG, North Kashmir, V K Birdi said the woman was killed in the "cross-fire after she tried to escape from the house where the militants were trapped".The Internet services have been stopped in parts of Sopore and Kupwara as a precautionary measure.