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Civilian, 4 forces personnel killed in Handwara encounter, clashes

Srinagar, Mar 1: A civilian and four forces’ personnel, including a CRPF Inspector were killed and at least 11 soldiers including a paramilitary commandant wounded during an ongoing gunfight and clashes in Handwara area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Friday.
Quoting official sources, news agency GNS reported that the encounter broke out after the joint team of army’s 22 RR, 92 Battalion CRPF and SOG launched a cordon-and-search operation at Khanan Babagund in Langate during midnight of Thursday and Friday. A fierce encounter started and two militants were believed to have been killed.
However, when the joint search team went to retrieve the militant bodies amid a lull, one of the two militants, earlier believed to be dead rose from the rubble and fired indiscriminately leading to injuries to CRPF Inspector, a policeman and five government forces’ personnel including army soldiers who were shifted to hospital.
Among the injured, the paramilitary Inspector namely Pintu Kumar of 92 bn CRPF and the policeman of SOG Handwara namely Naseer Ahmad succumbed to wounds, they said.
In the meantime, fresh gunfight resumed between the forces and the militant in which a commandant Deepak Kumar of 92 bn CRPF, 4 paramilitary personnel and a policeman were injured along with two soldiers. All the injured were evacuated to military hospital, two of them–one CRPF personnel namely constable Vinod and the policeman SgCt Ghulam Mustufa–succumbed to their injuries.
All the injured were taken to military hospital Drugmulla from where four of them shifted to 92 base hospital Badamibagh, Srinagar for specialised treatment, they said, adding that the condition of three among the injured are stated to be serious.
The operation was going when reports last came in and militant is learnt to have changed the location. Two houses and cowshed were also gutted, they said.
Meanwhile, clashes broke out near the encounter site between the forces and youth. In forces action, one civilian was killed and several others were injured, three of them have suffered pellet injuries while one received injuries in his foot.
Reports said that the youth Waseem Ahmad Mir (21) son of Mohammad Akbar Mir of Zaloora suffered critical bullet wounds in his abdomen and head.
Waseem along with other injured youth were shifted to district hospital Handwara where he was declared brought dead on arrival by the doctors who attended upon him.
It was not immediately known whether the youth was among those who clashed with government forces or the bystander.