"Two youth have been killed in army firing this morning. It is a very unfortunate incident," Minister for Higher Education Mohammad Akbar Lone, who is also the local MLA, said.
The deceased youth have been identified as Irfan Ahmad Ganaie and Irshad Ahmad Dar, both residents of Markundal village in Sumbal area, 25 kms from here.
Local residents staged a protest against the killings, which took place at around 3.30 AM, alleging that the army firing was unprovoked.
The Army said while it had no hand in the killing of one youth, the other died when troops opened fire in self-defence as a mob tried to set an army ambulance on fire.
"Based on intelligence inputs about movement of militants through the area, an ambush was laid. Firing of shots were heard outside the cordon area and later it was found that one youth has been killed," an army official said.
He said some time later when the army ambulance was carrying doctors and some other staff through the area, a mob attacked it and tried to set the vehicle on fire.
"The troops opened firing in self-defence, which resulted in the death of the second youth," the army official added. Police officials, who are monitoring the situation, are tight-lipped about the incident.