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On Saturday Morning, a gunfight broke out between militants and security forces in Kharpora Sirnoo village of South Kashmiri’s Pulwama district in seven civilians were killed.

An army spokesperson said that the government launched a cordon-and-search-operation following a tip-off about the presence of militants. As soon as the forces cordoned off the area, the militants who were hiding, opened fire on the security forces, injuring two soldiers. However, the forces also killed the three militants, one among them being an ex-army man, who was involved in the murder of rifleman Aurangzeb of Poonch district.

As soon as the news broke out, young men and women from adjoining villages marched towards the encounter site and pelted stones on the security forces. The forces then opened indiscriminate fire on the protesters in which seven civilians were killed and more than 70 were injured. The slain civilians were identified as Shahbaz Ali, a resident of Monghama village, Suhail Ahmad of Bellow, Liyaqat Ahmad from Parigam, Murtaza of Prichoo, Amir Ahmad Palla of Ashminder, Abid Hussain Lone of Kareemabad and Touseef Ahmad Mir.

Meanwhile, the act was condemned by mainstream leaders as well as separatist leaders. The joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) called for a three-day shutdown and mourning in Kashmir against the killings of seven civilians and three militants in southern Pulwama district. Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti also condemned the killings of seven civilians in forces’ action in southern Pulwama district.
Protests have also erupted in Sopore Degree College as well as Kashmir University against the killing of seven civilians and three militants in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

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