Briefing reporters, senior police officers said there was specific intelligence about the presence of three local militants owing allegiance to Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba terror group at a house in the Khudwani area following which a cordon was thrown at 10 pm last night. According to the police, no bodies were found in the smouldering debris of the house during searches conducted after the guns fell silent.
Police said a soldier was killed and two other security personnel were injured on Wednesday when militants holed up inside a house started firing at security personnel closing in on them. However, the warnings went unheeded and four civilians were killed, they said.
Meanwhile, violent clashes are going on in the area with local residents indulging in dingdong stone battles with the forces. Another injured person is 25-year-old Adil Ahmad from Anantnag.
"The slain Armyman was identified as Sepoy S Gunakar Roy". She has also paid tributes to the Army jawan who lost his life in the said incident. The protesters, shouting slogans eulogizing dead militants and demanding an end to Indian rule over the region, were marching in solidarity with the militants and to help them escape the security cordon.
Six additional Coys of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been moved to the encounter site in Khudwani area of Kulgam, where two to three terrorists have been trapped till now. The statement was silent on the death of the fourth civilian.
The Chief Minister said there is an urgent need to get together to get Jammu & Kashmir out of this vicious cycle of violence and killings.
In wake of Kulgam killings, authorities on Wednesday afternoon made a decision to snap mobile internet services in south Kashmir parts while as they asked the cellular companies to reduce mobile internet speed in district Srinagar as "a precautionary measure".
The civilian killings in Kulgam sparked off protests in some other parts of the Valley, including northwestern town of Sopore.