Srinagar, Apr 11: Three persons, including a soldier, were killed on Wednesday in an encounter that broke out in Kulgam district of south Kashmir during wee hours when joint forces laid the Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) following inputs of militants presence in Khudwani area. Also Read - BRO Constructs 110-feet Bailey Bridge at Kela Morh on Jammu-Srinagar Highway in Record Time

As per reports, two security personnel are also injured in cross-firing with the terrorists. Meanwhile, the encounter is underway. It is believed that 2-3 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists are hiding in the area. Six additional coys of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been moved to the site of encounter. Also Read - Dal Lake Freezes, Srinagar Records Coldest Night in 30 Years, Administration Deploys SDRF Teams

Meanwhile, learning about the operation, the youth took to the streets, protesting against the forces. They pelted stones and clashed with them to disrupt the anti-militant operation at Wani Mohalla in the area. As security forces retaliated, two civilians were killed and several others are said to be injured.

School Closed, Mobile Internet Suspended, Train Services Affected

In the wake of the gunfight and clashes, the authorities have ordered the closure of all schools and colleges in Kulgam district. mobile internet services have been suspended in Kulgam and Anantnag districts of South Kashmir following the encounter at Kulgam. Train services on Srinagar-Banihal route have also been suspended as a precautionary measure. Although, the trains will continue to ply normally on Srinagar-Baramulla route, reported news agency ANI.

Earlier on Sunday, the security forces busted an old militant hideout in Rajouri’s Gadyogarea of Khawas in Jammu and Kashmir during a search operation. At least two AK-47 rifles and bullets along with a few magazines were recovered from the site. Both the state police and the Army launched a joint search operation after receiving a tip-off regarding the hideout.

According to reports, there has been a surge of militants in Jammu and Kashmir in the past five years. It is being said that this trend picked up after the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8, 2016.