Three civilians from Jammu and Kashmir, who had been picked up by the Indian Army, were found dead near the site of the ambush on Friday, reported PTI. They were being questioned after suspected militants attacked two Army vehicles in Poonch district on Thursday

The Jammu and Kashmir government acknowledged the deaths in a post on X but has not provided an explanation for how the deaths happened. The Indian Army and the Jammu and Kashmir Police too have not explained the circumstances behind the civilian deaths.

The information and public relations department of the Union territory said that “legal action in this matter has been initiated by the appropriate authority” and that the government has announced a compensation package for the deceased.

The attack on the Army on Thursday left four Indian soldiers dead and two injured. The People’s Anti-Fascist Front, an offshoot of Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed, has claimed responsibility for the attack, the Hindustan Times reported.

The dead civilians have been identified as Safeer Hussain (43), Mohammad Showket (27) and Shabir Ahmad (32), reported PTI. They were residents of Topa Pir village in Poonch’s Bufliaz region and part of a group of eight civilians picked up for questioning about the Poonch attack.

Following their deaths, protests broke out in the region after which mobile internet services were suspended on Saturday in Poonch and its adjoining district Rajouri.

The two Army vehicles were travelling from Bufliaz in Poonch district to Thanamandi in Rajouri where a Rashtriya Rifles unit is stationed. The area between Bufliaz and Dera Ki Gali is densely forested and runs along the boundary of the two districts.