Seven die in Kashmir, civilians-security forces clash (Fourth Lead)

Srinagar, Feb 12 (IANS) Two soldiers, four militants and a civilian were killed on Sunday in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam district, triggering clashes between civilians and security forces.

The fighting erupted after the troops surrounded Frisal village following a tip that militants were hiding in a house, police said.

“When the militants were challenged, they fired at the forces, triggering the gunfight,” a police officer said. The dead included two wounded soldiers from Rashtriya Rifles who succumbed to their injuries.

Three civilians and three soldiers were also injured in the fighting. One civilian, Ashaq Rishi, died later, police said.

When news of Rishi’s death spread, angry villagers poured out of their homes and stoned the security forces, who used tear smoke in an attempt to disperse them.

Some reports said around a dozen people, including protesters as well as security personnel, were injured in these clashes.

The militants’ bodies were recovered from the site.

Security forces continued their search for more militants who may be holed up in the area.

–IANS

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