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Four civilians, soldier killed in Kashmir gunfight (Fifth Lead)

IANS  |  Srinagar 

Four civilians and a soldier were killed on Wednesday as a gunfight between militants and security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's district sparked off violent street protests and a call for a two-day shutdown in the Valley.

Sepoy S. Gunakar Roy was killed when militants hiding in a house in Wani Mohalla in Khudwani area fired at security personnel closing in on them. Two other security personnel were wounded in the fighting.

The security forces fired back in a bid to capture the militants, said to be linked to the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

As the fighting raged, hundreds of people poured out of their homes and attacked the security forces with stones. The security personnel opened fire.

Doctors named the civilians who died as Aijaz Ahmad Palla, 30, who had a gunshot injury, Faisal Elahi, 15, Bilal Ahmad Dar, 17, and Sharjeel Sheikh 28.

Police issued a statement saying the civilian deaths took place as a result of crossfire between the militants and security forces.

This was strongly contested by locals who assert that the civilians were shot dead by the security forces determined to break up the street protests.

In the end, the troops fired explosives to destroy the house where the militants had been hidden but there was no word on how many guerrillas had been killed. Two other houses in the vicinity caught fire.

Police officials said the debris of the house were being cleared to trace the bodies of the militants.

Four injured civilians have been referred to for specialized treatment. Informed sources said over 40 civilians were injured in street clashes. The condition of two of them was said to be critical.

Authorities ordered the closure of all schools and colleges in and were suspended in south areas.

A (SHO) sustained a during clashes between the civilian protesters and the security forces in north Kashmir's Baramulla town.

Similar clashes also erupted in north Kashmir's Sopore town as news about the deaths of civilians in spread. Unrest also gripped Anantnag, Pulwama and Shopian towns.

Student protests rocked University in Srinagar, the and Technology in Awantipora in south and in Bandipora in north

Meanwhile, Jammu and Liberation Front (JKLF) was detained soon after he and separatist leaders and called for a two-day shutdown in the Valley on Thursday and Friday to denounce the killings.

While Malik addressed the media in person, Geelani and the Mirwaiz spoke to the journalists over telephone.

After the press conference, Malik set out on a protest march but was detained, triggering more clashes between JKLF supporters and security forces in

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, April 11 2018. 17:56 IST
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