At least seven civilians were killed and several others injured in clashes with security forces following an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Saturday. A soldier also died in the clashes.
Reports said that more than 35 protesters were injured in the incident.
Earlier, three terrorists of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) outfit were neutralised in a brief exchange of firing with security forces. Identity of killed terrorists was being ascertained.
The gunfight took place earlier in the day in Sirnoo village after the security forces received a tip-off about the holed-up militants.
One among slain terrorists is said to be deserted Armyman Zahoor Thoker, however official confirmation is awaited.
Two of the civilians who were killed have been identified as Amir Ahmad Palla and Abid Hussain Lone.
According to hospital authorities, four other civilian protesters who were brought in for treatment, succumbed to their injuries.
The seventh civilian protester died in a hospital in Srinagar, the police said.
The police had resorted to teargassing and firing in the air to chase away a mob that indulged in stone pelting while the security forces were engaged in the encounter with the terrorists.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah expressed grief over the incident.
Another blood soaked weekend in Kashmir. 6 protestors killed, 1 solider killed in the line of duty. Together with the 3 militants from this morning’s encounter that’s 10 dead. Reports of many injured at the encounter site. What a horrible day!
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) 15 December 2018
Former CM Mehbooba Mufti strongly condemned the killings and offered condolences to the bereaved.
No probe enough to bring back the dead innocent civilians.South Kashmir has been reeling under fear for the last 6 https://t.co/yvGQiUPOel this what was expected from Gov rule?The admin has failed in securing civilian lives. Deepest condolences to the bereaved.
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) 15 December 2018
Authorities have imposed curfew in Pulwama town and have deployed high security to maintain law and order in the wake of the civilian deaths.
The authorities have suspended mobile internet in Pulwama and rail services between the Kashmir Valley and Bannihal town in the Jammu region were cancelled.