SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, June 22 : Four militants, a policeman and a civilian were killed Friday in a fierce gunfight in restive Indian-controlled Kashmir, police said.
Several people were also injured in the clashes with government forces.
The gunfight erupted in Nowshera village of Srigufwara area of Anantnag district, 59 km south of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.
“”Four militants were killed today in the gunfight with joint contingents of police, paramilitary and army at Nowshera-Srigufwara,”” a senior police official posted in Anantnag told Xinhua.
“”Unfortunately we have also lost a policeman fighting these militants.””
According to police in the initial firefight, house owner and his wife, where militants were present were wounded after being hit by bullets in the crossfire.
Though they were removed to a nearest medical facility but doctors there declared house owner dead.
“”The man was already dead but we provided treatment to the woman and referred her to Srinagar hospital,”” a health official said. “”Besides we received around 10 injured people and provided them medical aid.””
Reports said while the gunfight was underway, youth pelted stones on government forces in a bid to help militants break cordon and escape. However, the forces responded by firing tear gas shells, pellets and warning shots.
Over a dozen protesters were reportedly injured.
Locals living in the area said they heard sound of heavy fire and blasts in the village during the stand-off.
“”Intense firing was going on and we hid ourselves inside the house,”” said Mohammed Shafi, a local villager.
Reports said the house where militants had taken refuge was completely damaged during the firing between two sides.
Senior police officials said the operation was launched on the specific intelligence information about presence of militants in the area.
The slain militants were identified as local cadres.
“”Two are from Srigufwara, one is from Awantipora-Pulwama and one from Srinagar city,”” the police official said.
Region’s Police Chief Shesh Paul Vaid said the slain militants were reportedly affiliated with Islamic State network.
Authorities have snapped internet services in Anantnag, Pulwama and Srinagar, fearing it would mobolize huge crowds to stage protests. It has become a norm for the authorities to block internet services every time a militant or a civilian is killed.
On Tuesday, three militants were killed in a similar gunfight with troops and police in Tral area of adjacent Pulwama district.
Meanwhile, a policeman who was wounded last week in a militant attack in Srinagar succumbed at a premier health institute on Friday morning. Enditem