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Militant, 3 civilians killed in Shopian

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Anantnag, Mar 04:  A militant and three civilians were killed by Army in a shootout at Pahnoo area of Shopian district in south Kashmir on Sunday evening.

Army’s Srinagar based defence spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia told media  that militants attacked Mobile Vehicle Check Post (MVCP) of Army’s 44 RR at Pahnoo village at around 20:00 hours.

The fire was retaliated triggering a gunfight, the spokesman said.

He said that in the exchange of gunfire, a militant was killed and his body along with an AK-rifle was recovered.

The spokesman identified the slain militant as Shahid Ahmad Dar, son of Mushtaq Ahmad Dar, resident of Jamnagri, Shopian.

He said “three OGWs/accomplices in the car, who were accompanying the terrorist, were found dead.”

“Police has reached the spot and started legal formalities,” Army spokesman said.

However, local sources said that the three persons, whom the Army spokesman described as “over-ground workers/accomplices” were civilians.

Giving details of the incident, they said that three militants were travelling through the area. “On seeing the Army’s MVCP, the militants opened fired, during which two militants managed to broke the barrier and entered the village, while Army fire claimed the life of a third militant,” sources said.

They said three civilians were also killed subsequently. They were identified as Suhail Khalil Wagay, a resident of Pinjoora; Mohammad Shahid Khan, resident of Malikgund, and Shahnawaz Ahmad Wagay, a resident of Trenz, Shopian.

Sources said following the incident, “police also refused to be part of the operation, and cordon the village due to civilians casualties.”

Meanwhile, amid intense tension in the area, authorities snapped the Internet connectivity and phones were also not working properly.

As the operation in the area was still going on, further details of the incident were still awaited while this report was being written.

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