Five militants, civilian killed during Shopian gunfight

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Srinagar: Five militants were killed in an overnight gunfight with the government forces in Shopian district of south Kashmir. A civilian was killed and two dozen others injured in clashes following the gunfight.

“Five militants have been killed in the operation that began on Friday evening in Kiloora village,” said an Army spokesman in Srinagar.

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Jammu and Kashmir Police chief S.P. Vaid said four more bodies of militants were recovered from the encounter site Kiloora, Shopian, taking the toll to five.

An official said the gunfight began after a joint party of the Army and the state police launched searches in Kiloora following inputs about the presence of militants.

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“As the forces approached the suspected house, the hiding militants opened fire, triggering an encounter,” he said, adding that one militant was killed in the initial exchange of fire while the bodies of four others were recovered today morning.

The slain militants were identified as Arshad Ahmad of Ganowpora Balpora, Waqar Ahmad Sheikh of Malikgund, Aijaz Ahmad Paul of Lousdanew, Umar Malik of Malikgund and Arif Ahmad Mir from Yannar village of Pahalgam.

A civilian was killed and two dozen others injured in the forces’ action on protesters near the site of the gunfight and several other places of the district.

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In Ganowpora, a civilian was killed and two others injured after Army opened fire on protesters who pelted them with stones.

Reports said that youth hurled stones on Army men soon after the funeral prayers of slain militant Arshad Ahmad.

The deceased youth, aged around 24, was identified as Bilal Ahmad Khan. At least nine injured civilians have been referred to Srinagar for specialised treatment.

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