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Two persons were today killed and 10 others injured as security forces allegedly opened fire to keep stone-pelting protesters from interfering in an ongoing encounter with three holed up Lashkar-e-Taiba militants in Anantnag district of south Kashmir. Also, clashes rocked various parts of the Valley including Srinagar after Friday prayers even as the police detained JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik. Ahsan Mushtaq (15) and Mohammad Ashraf Khar (34) were killed after being hit by bullets near the site of an ongoing encounter between militants and security forces at Arwani village in Anantnag district of south Kashmir, a police official said. He said it was not immediately clear whether the duo were part of the stone-pelting protesters who tried to disrupt the anti-militancy operation in the village. Ten other people were injured, mostly by pellets.
The operation to flush out militants was going on, he said. Officials said clashes also broke out between protesters and security forces at nearly a dozen places in the Valley, including Jamia Masjid in downtown Srinagar, Tral, Pampore, Pulwama town and Anantnag in south Kashmir, Hajin in Bandipora and Sopore in Baramulla in north Kashmir. The protests against the civilian killings erupted shortly after Friday prayers and were going on when reports last came in, the officials said. They said several persons were injured in the clashes. JKLF Chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik was taken into preventivecustody from his Abi Guzar office in the heart of Srinagar prior to Friday prayers. "Malik along with senior member G M Dar was arrested from Abi Guzar and both of them were shifted to Central jail on a judical remand till June 19," a JKLF spokesman said. Meanwhile, separatists called for a general strike on June 18 against the killing of civilians and ransacking of properties allegedly by security forces.