3 soldiers killed in fidayeen attack; people clash with troops demanding bodies of killed militants
Baramulla: Army soldiers shot dead a civilian in Kupwara during clashes that broke out when people demanded the bodies of the slain militants who had stormed an army camp in Kupwara’s Panzgam area on Thursday morning, killing 3 soldiers, including an officer.
As soon as the gunfight in which two militants were killed was over, people began to protests and to demand their bodies. Locals said that a large number of people broke the army cordon, after which the soldiers opened fire. Mohammad Yousuf Bhat, a civilian, was wounded by a bullet and died on the spot. The clashes continued for hours and more than a dozen people had been reported to be injured in the area when this report was filed.
Three army soldiers, one of them a captain, were killed in the early morning fidayeen attack in which two militants were gunned down by the army’s Quick Reaction Team (QRT).
19 civilians killed this year
The slain soldiers have been identified as Captain Ayush Yadav, Subedar Bhoop Singh Gujjar, and Naik Bhoota Venkata. The injured soldiers were airlifted to Base Hospital in Srinagar for treatment. The identity of the militants has not been ascertained so far.
Official sources said that a group of three non-local militants barged into an army camp of 155 field regiment in Panzgam area of Kralpora in the wee hours of Thursday and fired indiscriminately at the army men posted around the camp for security. The militants also hurled several hand grenades inside the camp, which killed the three army soldiers and wounded five others.
The officials said that two militants were killed and their bodies have been recovered.
A senior army officer said that the group of three militants cut the fence of the army camp to enter it. The third militant escaped taking advantage of the poor light. The army officer said two AK 47 rifles and arms were recovered from the site.
Locals said that they heard heavy firing at around 4am, which created panic in the area.
Soon after the news of the killing of militants spread in the area, a large number of people, mostly young, took to the streets and protested against the killing of the militants. They also tried to march towards the encounter site and blocked the road leading to the army camp. Police and CRPF forces reached the spot and cleared the roads, but not before the protesting youth pelted them with stones and had to be scattered by firing pellets and teargas shells.