New Delhi, MINA — At least four civilians and one soldier were killed while 40 others mostly civilians were injured on Wednesday following an encounter between militants and security forces in Kulgam district of north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
A soldier was killed in firing by militants hiding in Wani Mohalla in Khudwani area of Kulgam as the security personnel had launched a search and sanitation operation in the area, Indo Asian News Agency reported.
Four civilians were also shot dead as the local residents opposed the operation and hundreds of protesters came out on streets and disrupted the security operation.
The police claimed in a statement that the four civilians were killed during the crossfire between militants and security forces which the local people vehemently contested and claimed that the security forces gunned down the civilians during their attempt to disperse the protests.
Many cities and towns across the valley including Baramulla, Sopore, Anantnag, Pulwama and Shopian erupted in protests and clashes followed as the news of civilian killings spread.
Kashmir University in Srinagar and the Islamic University of Science and Technology in Awantipora were also cites of mass protests. In a related development, the security authorities have detained Chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Yasin Malik was detained soon after he called for a two-day shutdown in the valley.
The forces destroyed the house where the militants were hiding using explosives and currently they are clearing the debris to recover the bodies of militants whose number is still unknown.
New Delhi accuses Islamabad of supporting and funding the armed groups in Kashmir, claims which Islamabad denies (T/RS5/RS1)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)