Indian Troops Fire On Civilians: 7 Reported Dead, Dozens Injured

Seven civilians died and dozens were injured when Indian security forces opened fire at people protesting the killing of three militants in a gun battle in restive Kashmir on Saturday, police said.

Defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said an operation was launched in the morning in response to intelligence reports about the presence of militants in a village in Pulwama district, south of the state’s summer capital Srinagar. 

“During the operation militants fired upon troops, leading to a gun battle in which three militants were killed,” he said. 

A senior police officer, who was not authorised to speak to the media, said large numbers of local people then gathered at the site, leading to clashes between them and security forces in which seven people were killed and about 50 injured. 

An eyewitness, Mohammad Ayuob, told Reuters Indian troops fired at the locals when they tried to retrieve the body of a militant. 

Jammu and Kashmir is mainly Hindu India’s only Muslim-majority state. India and Pakistan both rule the region in part but claim in full. India accuses Pakistan of fomenting trouble in its part of Kashmir, a charge Islamabad denies.

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