At least six civilians died in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Sunday after an explosive went off at the site of an encounter between the security forces and suspected militants, Greater Kashmir reported. But the police have confirmed only one civilian death so far. Forty people were injured in the explosion, according to News18.
Security forces killed three suspected militants in an encounter Kulgam district’s Laroo village earlier in the day. Two soldiers were injured in the gunfight.
The police claimed locals entered the site as soon as the gunfight ended despite warning and were injured or killed when an explosive substance went off. One of the dead civilians was identified as Ubaid Laway.
“Civilians visited encounter site immediately after operation inspite of request not to visit as thorough search was on for explosives,” the Jammu and Kashmir police said on Twitter. “They didn’t listened (sic) and thus visited the spot. Some explosive substance went off resulting in injuries to civilians. One civilian died.”
Earlier in the day, The security forces launched a cordon and search operation in the village after receiving information about the presence of militants in the area. The suspected militants fired at the forces during the cordon, triggering a gunfight in which two soldiers were wounded, a police official told the Greater Kashmir.
Internet and mobile telephone services were suspended in the district. This was the second encounter in 12 hours in the state, following a gunfight between forces and suspected militants in Pulwama district on Saturday.
Three soldiers killed in Rajouri
Meanwhile, suspected Pakistani intruders were killed in the state’s Rajouri district hours after the Kulgam encounter, The Indian Express reported.
The suspected men, believed to be part of Pakistan’s Border Action Team, ambushed an Army patrol party near the Line of Control around 1.45 pm. Three soldiers lost their lives and one was injured in the gunfight that followed.
The three soldiers, residents of Jammu and Kashmir, were identified as Havildar Kaushal Kumar of Nowshera, Lance Naik Ranjeet Singh of Doda and Rifleman Rajat Kumar Basan of Pallanwala. Rifleman Rakesh Kumar of Samba was wounded.
“The intruders had come inside our territory and ambushed our patrol,” an Army officer told the Hindustan Times. “Our soldiers immediately took positions and eliminated two BAT members.”
The Army patrol recovered warlike stores, including two AK-47 rifles, said Jammu-based defence spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Devender Anand. A search operation is going on, he added.