11 militants and one civilian killed in Kashmir encounters

Monday to protest the killings.

The weekend clashes were the worst since a three-day skirmish in the forests of northern Kashmir last month left ten dead - five unidentified militants and five government troops.

"Two army jawans lost their lives in encounter in J&K's Shopian", he said. Two more terrorist bodies have been recovered from Shopian encounter site.

Witnesses said locals pulled out two suspected militants from the debris of the house where the encounter raged and they were taken to an unknown place.

"We tried to persuade them to surrender but they fired, which was retaliated".

Among the killed militants were Ishfaq Thokar, Ehtehmad Hussian and Aquib Iqbal who were responsible for many terror-related activities in Shopian area.

Four civilians were also killed in Shopian - one at Dragad and three at Kachdoora.

To prevent demonstrations, the authorities have restricted the access to high-speed internet in the region.

He added that people should stay away from the encounter sites because the militants fire in all directions.

Six other civilians sustained bullet injuries, out of which two later succumbed in hospita.

The news of the militants' killings triggered civilian protests.

Despite restrictions, reports of protests were received from several areas of Srinagar and south Kashmir.

While separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq were put under house arrest, JKLF chief Yasin Malik was detained at Kothibagh police station in Srinagar. "Srinagar city, by and large, was peaceful, " he said.

The beginning of this year has been violent, with intermittent gunfights and civilian killings on the worldwide border.

Despite a ceasefire agreement that was reached between India and Pakistan in November 2003, sporadic skirmishes continue in Kashmir.

Both countries accuse each other of targeting the civilian population.

Kashmir has been divided between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. The officials said the operation was called off at twilight but the search of the debris will resume on Monday morning. Source said angry residents have come out on the roads in Dragad and Kachdoora villages, "Our forces are exercising maximum restraint while operating in extremely hostile situations", SP Pani, IG Kashmir, said. About half a million Indian soldiers are deployed in the Muslim-majority state, where more than 260 people were killed only in 2017.

The division has led to decades of conflict with numerous separatist campaigns and multiple wars between India and Pakistan.

  • Leroy Wright