‘Deeply grieved at civilian killings’
Calling the civilian deaths as unfortunate, the Jammu and Kashmir Police on Saturday claimed that the “crowd came dangerously close” to the site of the gunfight that left three militants and a civilian dead in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Giving details about the gunfight, a police spokesman said that a search operation was launched jointly by the security forces based on a credible input about the presence of militants in Monghama area of village Sirnoo today morning.
He said that the militants fired indiscriminately during the search operation from a hideout in an open field in the village.
“Consequently, army personnel got injured and one Army soldier succumbed to his injury while others are being treated at a hospital,” said the spokesman.
“While the operation was going on, a crowd who came dangerously close from different parts to the encounter site got injured,” he added.
He said the injured were evacuated to hospital where “unfortunately seven persons succumbed to their injuries.”
Others who were admitted in the hospital are stated to be stable, he said.
“The loss of civilians is deeply grieved. Police once again appeals the citizens to remain away from encounter site as it is a prohibited zone which involves significant danger to life because of nature of the encounter,” said the spokesman.
In this gunfight, three militants were killed. Bodies were handed over to the legal heirs after completion of medico-legal formalities.
“One of the killed militant has been identified as Zahoor Ahmad Thoker son of Abdul Majid Thoker resident of Sirnoo Pulwama,” he said, adding that Zahoor had deserted from Army last year and joined HM outfit.
“He was a known militant commander and was wanted by law for his complicity in a series of attacks on security establishments,” he said.