2 civilians, 3 militants killed

Shujaat Bukhari

Protesters say Rashtriya Rifles killed the civilians

TRAL (SOUTH KASHMIR): The killing of two civilians, allegedly at the hands of the Army, at Aripal village here evoked strong protests on Sunday, forcing police to register a case against men of the 50 Rashtriya Rifles. In another incident, three militants were killed in a gun-battle in the same area.

Protesters claimed that Ghulam Mohammad Mir and Jehangir Khan were killed by the troops without any provocation and "there was no presence of militants here."

As the two civilians' bodies were handed over to families, the protesters refused to bury them. After Deputy Commissioner of Pulwama Meraj Ahmad Kakroo's intervention, the protesters agreed to bury the two bodies.

Defence spokesman Lt. Col. A.K. Mathur said the "civilians were killed by militants and not the Army." Three militants, including a Hizb commander, were killed in an encounter with security forces in Tral.

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