Srinagar: Kashmir witnessed an unprecedented death toll in recent years of strife today as thirteen militants and four civilians were killed by government forces in three separate gunfights in south Kashmir’s Shopian and Anantnag districts.
Four civilians, who were killed by government forces around encounter sites, were identified as Zubair Ahmad Bhat of Gopalpora, Kulgam, Mushtaq Ahmad Thokar, Iqbal Bhat of Khasipora and Mehraj-ud-Din of Hajipora.
In a gunfight that raged in Kachdoora village of Shopian, five militants and three army personnel were killed. The slain army personnel have been identified as Gunner Arvinder Kumar, Gunner Nilesh Singh and Sepoy Hetram, while as the identity of five militants couldn’t be ascertained immediately.
In another gunfight in Shopian’s Draggad village, seven local Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed. They were identified by the police as Adil Ahmed Thoker of Humhuna, Nazim Dar of Nagbal, Ubaid Shafi Malla of Trenz, Yawar Itoo of Safanagri, Rayees Ahmed Thoker of Padarpora, Zubair Turay of Shopian and Ashfaq Malik of Pinjura.
In Dialgam village of Anantnag, police said a militant Rouf Bashir Khanday was killed in a gunfight while as his associate was captured.
More than 100 civilians were injured in the clashes that ensued at gunfight sites in which 34 were hit with pellets and are hospitalised in SMHS hospital in Srinagar. Two victims have sustained pellet injuries in both the eyes, a news report said.
In the wake of the civilian killings, mobile internet services were suspended in the Kashmir Valley as a precautionary measure, officials said.
The pro-freedom leadership has called for a Valley-wide shutdown today and tomorrow.