A civilian was killed Thursday while gunfight between militants and government forces was going on in restive Indian-controlled Kashmir, police said.
The gunfight broke out at village Hassanpora near Bijbehara in Anantnag district, about 47 km south of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.
Locals said people from within the village and neighboring hamlets marched to the village shouting anti-India slogans in a bid to help militants break cordon and escape.
The government forces fired shotgun pellets, tear smoke shells and warning shots to disperse the rock-throwing protesters. Dozens of people were injured during the clashes.
Police spokesman in Srinagar said the civilian was killed after being hit by a stray bullet some distance from the gunfight site.
“At some distance from the gunfight site, a stray bullet hit a person identified as Arif Ahmad Shah of village GundBaba,Sangam. The said person later on succumbed to his wounds,” the spokesman said.
Reports say police launched the operation in the village Wednesday on specific intelligence information regarding presence of militants in the area.
Three local militants including a commander affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba were killed so far. However, there was no confirmation from police or army about the militant killings
“There is no official confirmation about the militant killings during the gunfight so far. The operation is underway,” Indian military spokesman in Srinagar Col Rajesh Kalia told Xinhua.
In July this year killing of a top militant commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani triggered a wave of violence and anti-India protests in the region.
A guerrilla war is going on between militants and Indian troops stationed in Indian-controlled Kashmir since 1989. The gunfight between the two sides takes place intermittently across the region. Endit