Two civilians and two militants, including top Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Bashir Lashkari, were killed on Saturday during an exchange of fire between security forces and the armed accused holed up in a house in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district, the police told PTI. LeT member Azad Mali was shot dead during the encounter.
Forty-four-year-old Tahira Begum succumbed to her injuries while she was being taken to hospital, civilian Shadab Ahmed died after being hit by a bullet in his face, officials told Greater Kashmir. Besides, over 10 other civilians were injured, reported India Today. While police officials told PTI that the suspected militants were using civilians as human shield, locals claimed that the civilians were killed after the security forces opened fire on protestors during clashes.
The encounter took place after the security forces launched search operations in Dailgam village in Anantnag district following information that suspected militants, including Lashkari, were hiding in the house. They reportedly fired upon the security forces when the latter was cordoning off the village.
At least 17 civilians have been rescued from the hide-out by the security personnel, Jammu and Kashmir’s Inspector General Munir Khan told NDTV. “Efforts are on to take out the civilians out of this house,” another police official told Greater Kashmir.
This comes a day after a woman from Balakote in Rajouri district suffered splinter injuries when a shell exploded near her house during an encounter between the Indian Army and Pakistani troops. Friday’s incident was the 23rd alleged ceasefire violation by Pakistan this month, according to PTI.