6 civilians die in blast after J&K police raid on hideout

Six civilians, including a teenager, were killed in a blast caused by ammunition in a house, where three Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militants were killed in a pre-dawn operation in Kulgam on Sunday. “People as usual didn’t follow appeals to refrain from going to the encounter site. They went inside the house and touched a grenade, which exploded,” said Additional Director-General Police Muneer Ahmad Khan. The explosion at Laroo village, around 60 km south of Srinagar, took place immediately after security forces ended a five-hour gunbattle and withdrew from the encounter site around noon. It was a joint pre-dawn operation led by the Army with the components of the police’s special operations group and CRPF. Security forces had detonated the house, where three local militants were holed up, with explosives, leaving behind a skeleton of a three-storey house. Two soldiers were also injured. “I saw a huge ball of flame. It blinded me for while. Minutes later, I saw motionless injured lying on the street outside the house. The injured and dead civilians were lying on top of each other inside the house. It was gory,” a witness, who shot the scenes on a mobile phone, told The Hindu . Locals were seen shifting the dead and injured on motorbikes and three-wheelers to the nearest hospital. Over a dozen civilians were critically injured in the blast, triggering a huge commotion in the area. “Three of the 11 persons brought first were already dead,” said Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Kulgam, Dr. Fazil Kochak. Scores of the injured, with faces and limbs damaged, were shifted to Srinagar’s Shri Maharaja Hari Singh hospital, Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences and Jhelum Valley Medical College (JVMC). The scenes at the hospital were chaotic. “One patient’s arms are badly damaged. Every possible effort will be made to restore his physical ability,” said a doctor at the JVMC hospital. The deaths sparked spontaneous shutdown in large parts of the valley, including capital Srinagar. Over two dozen protesters were injured in sporadic clashes.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/6-civilians-die-in-blast-after-jk-police-raid-on-hideout/article25282263.ece

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