An Indian Army soldier and two civilians were killed on Wednesday during a gunfight between the security forces and terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir that started late last night.
Sources said the army on Wednesday morning used explosives to blast the house in which two to three Lashker-e-Toiba militants were believed to be hiding.
He said they are investigating whether there was a secret passage to escape or if there was some other reason for the militants to flee. They were removed to the hospital, where Sapper Sada Gunakara Rao succumbed to injuries.
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This is the second time that four civilians have been killed by security forces near encounter sites.
Meanwhile, search and cordon operations are underway in the Valley.
Several clashes were also reported in other areas of Kashmir.
According to Police in the said encounter three civilians identified as Sarjeel Sheikh of Khudwani, Bilal Ahmad Tantray of Frisal and Faisal Ilahi of Melhoora Shopian who were injured in the cross fire have also succumbed to their injuries.
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Almost 50 injured persons having bullet, pellet and injures due to teargas shells have been admitted in various hospitals of south Kashmir and Srinagar. "They have been sent to Srinagar for specialized treatment", the police officer said.
Protests were also held at National Institute of Engineering in Srinagar.
The encounter in Kulgam today comes days after the Indian forces successfully neutralized a total of 13 Hizbul Mujahideen militants in a spree of encounters conducted on April 1.
Schools, colleges and businesses in the Kashmir valley closed in answer to a strike call from separatists in protest at the killings.
BJP, Congress play politics of fast
There is a sense of stimulation among the party workers in regard to the direct interaction with the Prime Minister. BJP sources stressed that the four Dalit MPs who struck defiant notes had come to the saffron stable from the BSP.