Police fire in air, burst teargas in south Kashmir

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Srinagar, Dec 25 (UNI) Police fired in the air and burst teargas shells to disperse demonstrators, protesting against the killing of three Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) militants and damage to a mosque during 40-hour-long operation at Palnoo, in south Kashmir district of south Kashmir.

Hundreds of villagers, mostly women, took to streets immediately after the news spread that three HM militants have been killed and Jamia mosque, in which they were holed up since December 18 afternoon, had been damaged in firing of security force.

Raising anti-security forces and secessionist slogans, the demonstrators blocked the main road, demanding action against the security personnel who damaged the mosque.

As the agitators refused to disperse, police fired teargas shells. However, when there was no affect on them, police fired in the air.

Villagers alleged that mosque was damaged by the security forces.

They refuted the police claim that militants were killed outside the mosque.

Senior civil and police officials were on the spot to control the situation which is tense, official sources said.

A group of three HM militants entered a mosque after a brief encounter at Palnoo under Yaripora police station on December 18 afternoon. Two soldiers and a civilian were injured in the firing.

The militants also held five civilians as hostage in the mosque.

However, police claimed that the five civilians were rescued and all the three militants killed in the last night operation.


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