Srinagar, Nov 25: An Indian Army soldier and six Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba militants were killed in an encounter in a Jammu and Kashmir village in Shopian district leading to clashes with protesters that left one civilian dead.While one soldier of the territorial army was killed, another sustained injuries during a joint operation by the Rashtriya Rifles, troops of special operations group (SOG) of the police and the Central Reserve Police Force, Army spokesman from Udhampur headquartered Northern Command said.The operation began late on Saturday following a tip off received by the security forces. As the cordon was tightened around the hold-up militants, they started firing, triggering the gun battle that went on for hours.Security personnel through the night chased out militants from their hideouts and gunned them down along the village fields.At day break as news of the encounter spread, villagers put up an intense protest, in which two civilian suffered bullet injuries, leading to the death of at least one.Noman Ashraf Bhat died, a police officer said, while Faizan Ahmad, whom a bullet grazed past, is in hospital.Several protesters with pellet gunshot injuries were also admitted to hospital.
Sources said some top commanders of Hizbul and LeT could be among the slain militants. Officials said the identity of the slain is being ascertained.
By Aasif Suhaf