J&K encounter: Army jawan killed, 4 civilians die in ensuing clashes

Two to Three Terrorists Trapped in Kulgam District of Jammu and Kashmir Joint Operation Underway

Security forces, militants clash in Kashmir's Kulgam district

An Indian soldier and three civilians were killed on Wednesday as a gunfight between security forces and militants in Jammu and Kashmir triggered violent street protests.

Apart from it, two security personnel and over 40 civilians were injured in the ongoing operation, said the police official adding that the injured jawans were being treated at the Army's 92 base hospital in Srinagar.

Earlier, it was reported that two militants were killed in the encounter as the house in which the ultras were trapped was blasted by security forces.

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Security forces used explosives, fired mortars and automatic weapon to blow up the house in which the militants were holed up, sources said. The condition of two of them was said to be critical.

The police in the region also confirmed the killings of four civilians.

Officials said the deceased, identified as Bilal Ahmad Dar, 13, a resident of Kujjar village in Qaimoh tehsil of Kulgam district, was declared brought dead at sub-district hospital Qaimoh.

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"Four civilians died in the law and order situation that erupted in Khudwani area of Kulgam district when security forces were engaged in a counter-terrorism operation", the official said. "Bullets and pellets rained everywhere in response to the stones hurled by protesters who were hell-bent to move towards the gun fight site to help militants escape", an eyewitness told news agency CNS. Another civilian is seriously injured.

Protests were also held at National Institute of Engineering in Srinagar. Police have sent a communication to the cellular companies directing them to snap down the mobile internet data in Pulwama, Shopian and Awantipora reduce the speed in Srinagar with immediate effect.

Schools, colleges and businesses in the Kashmir valley closed in answer to a strike call from separatists in protest at the killings.

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