‘Girl fleeing gunfight site killed’

3 LeT militants killed; girl’s brother injured
Kupwara: A 7-year-old girl was killed and her younger brother hit by a bullet during a gunfight at Kupwara in which three Lashkar-e-Toiba militants were gunned down on Wednesday. A policeman was also wounded during the daylong gun battle.
Locals in Kupwara’s Kundar village said that seven-year-old Kaneeza and her six-year-old brother Faisal Ahmad, children of Khushi Mohammad Chachi, were hit by bullets when they were moving to safety some 100 meters away from the house where the forces were fighting the holed-up militants.

4 civilians killed this year
Feb 12: Two civilians were killed during an encounter in Kulgam.
Feb 23: An old woman was killed in Shopian.
March 9: A civilian was killed during an encounter in Pulwama.

Both the children were rushed to hospital but Kaneeza succumbed on the way. Faisal is now admitted at Srinagar’s SMHS Hospital. Faisal’s condition is stable, said medical superintendent Dr Nazir Choudhary. “The child is under examination. He has received a bullet in his lower back but his condition is stable,” the doctor told Kashmir Reader.
Government forces comprising the army’s 41 Rashtriya Rifles and the police special operation group and CRPF cordoned off Kupwara’s Kundnar village, about 15 km from Kupwara town, on Tuesday night after receiving information about the presence of militants there. The counter-insurgency operation was suspended during the night to prevent militants from escaping in the dark.
The operation resumed in the morning and the troops zeroed in on the house from where three Lashkar-e-Toiba militants engaged the troops in a fierce gun battle.
In the initial exchange of firing, a militant was killed and a policeman, Danish Ahmad, was injured in the morning. Two more militants kept fighting the forces till afternoon. Later, the forces razed the house by detonating explosives, killing the duo.
The identity of the slain militants is being ascertained, police said.
A police spokesperson in a handout said that a minor girl named Kaneeza and a minor boy named Faisal were injured after “stray” bullets hit them.

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