SRINAGAR, SEPTEMBER 27: Three militants, a soldier and a civilian were killed on Thursday in three separate incidents in the Kashmir Valley, officials said.

A local commander of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) outfit, Asif Malik alias Abu Ukasha, and a soldier were killed in a gunfight in Gasigund village in Dooru area of Anantnag district.

Security forces had laid an ambush in the village following information about the movement of militants.

As news of the LeT commander’s killing spread, there was a spontaneous shutdown in Anantnag town, residents said.

In another gunfight in Panzan village of Badgam district, security forces killed two militants who were identified as  Sheeraz Ahmad Bhat resident of Kralwari Chadoora and Irfan Ahmad Dar resident of Kakapora Pulwama. Both were affiliated with Hizb ul Mujahideen militant outfit, said a spokesman.

Dar was an SPO and had deserted the police force two months ago.

The fighting erupted after the militants entered a mosque.

An official said that security forces exercised caution to ensure that the mosque did not get damaged.

The crackdown triggered clashes between civilian protesters and security personnel in which over a dozen protesters were injured, officials said.

Authorities suspended train services between Banihal and Baramulla towns and also snapped mobile Internet connectivity in south Kashmir and Srinagar as a precaution.

A civilian, Muhammad Saleem Malik, was killed in gunfire in Noorbagh locality of Qamarwari area in Srinagar when the security forces were laying a cordon. This too sparked off clashes between the militants and security forces.

The slain civilian was buried at the Eidgah Martyrs graveyard, attended by scores of people.

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