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Over 50 injured in clashes between protesters, security forces in Kulgam

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Civilian, militant killed, many injured in Shopian clashes 

PHOTO/Javed Khan

Srinagar, May 29: One civilian and a militant were killed while as an army personnel was seriously injured during an encounter in Pinjoora village of Shopian. Many civilians also sustained injuries during clashes.

Reports said that a joint team of security forces had laid a cordon in Gugloora area of Pinjoora village. During the siege, youth took to streets and clashed with the security forces.

They said the youth pelted the forces to disrupt the anti-militant operation. The forces, they said, responded by firing live ammunition, pellets and tear gas, leading to death of a civilian and injuries to at least 20 others.

The slain civilian was identified as Sajad Ahmad Parray, a resident of Baderhama. Parray had received a bullet injury and was soon taken to District Hospital Shopian where he succumbed to his injuries.

Besides Parray, a civilian identified as Mohammad Shafi Malik also received a bullet injury. A girl was hit by pellets in the face while another youth was also received a bullet injury. The injured persons were later shifted to the district hospital for treatment.

Initial reports suggested that one militant was killed during the encounter. However, the identity of the slain militant was yet to be ascertained.

The encounter was on when this report was being filed.

Meanwhile, clashes broke out between protestors and security forces during a cordon and search operation in Kulgam district of south Kashmir on Wednesday, leaving over 50 persons injured.

The operation was launched in Tazipora-Mohammadpora area in the early hours following information about presence of militants there, officials said.

They said as the security personnel were carrying out searches, a large number of locals gathered and started pelting stones at them.

The security personnel used batons and fired pellet guns to disperse the protestors, the officials said, adding nearly 20 persons were injured in the incident. However, locals said more than 50 persons were injured in the clashes.

While most of the injured were treated at a local hospital in Kulgam, four youth with serious injuries were referred to a Srinagar hospital for treatment, they added.

The cordon was lifted as security forces did not find any militant in the area.

Police also denied the reports suggesting that the locals rescued three militants from the debris of the house in which they were trapped during a gunfight with the security forces.

Superintendent of Police, Kulgam, Grinder Pal Singh said that three Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants had managed to escape after initial round of fire. “We called off the operation in the afternoon after no body was retrieved from the encounter site,” he said while denying reports that the locals rescued the militants form the debris of the house which was destroyed during the firefight late last night.

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