Srinagar, January 27: Two stone-pelters were shot dead after security forces fired at protesters in self-defence in South Kashmir’s Shopian district on Sunday, the Indian Army reportedly said. Also Read - Arrival Of 'Sticky Bombs' Sets Off Alarm Bells In Jammu And Kashmir | All You Need To Know

At around 3 pm a group of 100-120 stone pelters targeted a convoy at Ganaupura Chowk, the army said in a statement. Also Read - Son of Srinagar's Krishna Dhaba Dies After Being Shot at by Militants

In few minutes the number of protesters “swelled to 200-250”, and they “caused extensive damage” to vehicles in an isolated part of the convoy. Also Read - COVID-19: Centre, States Discuss Fresh Spurt in Cases; Nationwide Lockdown on Cards Again?

A junior commissioned officer was hit on the head and suffered serious injury even as the mob tried to lunch him and snatch his weapon, the army said. After this the army was forced to open fire considering “the extreme gravity of the situation”.

Around seven of the armed forces officials suffered injuries and extensive damage was caused to eleven vehicles, the army said in a statement, adding two civilians were killed in the incident.

The Jammu and Kashmir police said that a civilian was killed in the firing, but some reports suggested that the death toll was three.

Moment’s after the incident, separatist leaders in Kashmir called a complete shutdown to condemn the incident, which might spark fresh protests in the militancy-hit state where stone-pelting demonstrators have targeted security forces for the encounter killing of local youth involved in insurgency. Police officials had asked to probe the incident.

Since July 2016, Kashmir Valley is on the boil after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter. At several places protests erupted on streets, with residents clashing with forces in what Pakistan termed human rights violations by India.