tiptrot.com June 22, 2018

Civilians were killed in Shopian crossfire, says Mehbooba Mufti

07 March 2018, 06:50 | Susie Olson

Two LeT terrorists, 4 others killed in Shopian; restrictions imposed

Shopian attack: Terrorist, accomplices killed in retaliatory firing

The toll in South Kashmir's Shopian encounter has risen to six on March 5 as the authorities recovered two more bodies.

The Army had said on Sunday night that four people including a militant belonging to LeT were killed in retaliatory fire after a mobile check-post came under attack in Shopian's Pahnoo village.

The deaths on Sunday evening occurred after a militant travelling in a auto attacked an Indian Army's mobile vehicle checkpost near Pahnoo village in Shopian district, some 60 km south of Srinagar. "The accomplices who were accompanying the militant were also found to be dead".

A large number of people gathered at the house of a militant killed in a gunfight with the security forces along with five other persons in Pahnoo village on Sunday.

But thousands of demonstrators still clashed with police and troops across the territory, one police officer told AFP.

Indian army spokesman Col. Rajesh Kalia said a rebel and three civilians were killed when soldiers fired back.

The trouble began late Sunday night, when officials say a vehicle refused to stop at a checkpoint outside a Shopian military base and militants inside fired at the soldiers. "But the militants fired at the troops from both the vehicles". The vehicle veered off the road into a ditch even as the second vehicle sped away.

"Even if civilians were travelling in a vehicle and unintentionally followed the auto in which militants were travelling, the Army could have saved their lives by retaliating with caution", Nazir Ahmad, a Shopian resident, told BenarNews. Three more bodies were found in the vehicle during the search. "They were definitely civilians and it is a matter of investigation as to what extent they were involved in supporting terrorists", said Brigadier Harbir Singh of 12 Sector Rashtriya Rifles (RR).

The army claimed recovering one AK-74, 3 magazines and 88 rounds from the dead militant. The chief minister tweeted her condolences to the families of the people who were "caught in cross fire".

Separatist conglomerate, Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) headed by Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik, have called for a valley-wide protest shutdown against the killing of three civilians and a militant during a gunfight in Shopian district on Sunday.

Hurriyat (G) chairman on Tuesday staged a protest in Srinagar against the killing of four civilians in army firing in south Kashmir's Shopian district. The Srinagar-Banihal train service was suspended while internet services remained snapped in the two districts. The state Board of School Education (BOSE) has postponed all the exams scheduled for March 6 and 7. In major parts of the Srinagar city as well as major towns and villages of the Valley, restriction have been imposed.

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