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Five militants, civilian killed in Shopian encounter

Srinagar, Aug 04: Five militants were killed in a gunfight that had begun late Friday evening between militants and government forces in Shopian district of south Kashmir. A civilian was killed and two dozen others injured in clashes following the gunfight.

“Five militants were killed in the operation that began on Friday evening in Kiloora village,” said an army spokesman in Srinagar.
Jammu and Kashmir Police Chief S P Vaid too said that bodies of five militants were recovered from the encounter site at Kiloora village of the district.

A police official, briefing about the encounter, 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.

“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 Saturday 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.
The encounter, as per the police spokesman, took place in “an open area as the hiding militants, taking advantage of darkness came out of the house and fired indiscriminately on security forces.”
“Arms and ammunition were also seized from the site of encounter. Police have registered a case and initiated an investigation into the matter,” the spokesman said.
Soon after the encounter ended, clashes broke out between protesters and government forces at several places in the district.
In nearby Ganowpora village, 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.
Reports said that Bilal Ahmad Khan, 24, a resident of Pujoo village of Kral Chuk suffered a bullet injury in his chest after forces used live ammunition and pellets to disperse protesters who had gathered at Ganowpora village for funeral prayers of one slain militant.
He was shifted to district hospital Shopian where doctors declared him dead on arrival.
At least two dozen civilians were injured during the clashes among which nine civilians were referred to Srinagar for specialized treatment.
Meanwhile, several rounds of funeral prayers were offered to the four slain militants killed in an encounter in Shopian district.
According to reports, thousands of people attended the funeral prayers of slain militants in Malikgund, and Ganawpora villages of Shopian amid anti-India and Pro-Pakistan sloganeering.
The fifth militant killed in the gunfight, Arif Ahmad Yannar, a resident of Pahalgam village, too was laid to rest at his native place amid huge attendance of people.
Reportedly, over thirty persons, including police officers, were injured during clashes in Yannar.
Reports said that youth pelted stones at forces who retaliated by firing tear gas and pellets, resulting in injuries to over 30 persons, including police officers.
A health official said that twenty injured are being treated at PHC Sallar while the rest were shifted to Seer, Srigufwara and district hospital Anantnag.
He said that two with pellet injuries in eyes were referred to Srinagar for specialised treatment.