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Mobile and internet services snapped across Pulwama, fresh protests erupt between civilians and security forces

 At least one militant was killed in an encounter that between militants and security forces in Samboora village of Pampore town in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district, late on Sunday night.

“Following a tip off about the presence of some suspected militants, a joint team of Army’s 50 RR, SOG and CRPF launched a cordon-and-search operation at Akram Dar Mohalla, Samboora, Pulwama”, a J&K police spokesperson said, on Monday.

The spokesperson said that as the joint team of security forces was carrying out the operation, the militants – believed to be three – opened fire triggering off the encounter. In the gunfight that ensued, one militant, identified as Umar, who was reportedly associated with the Abu Ismail faction of Pakistan-based terror outfit, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) was killed. One AK-47 rifle was recovered from the encounter site.

Unconfirmed reports said two other militants – Ayoub Lelhari from Lelhar Pulwama and Rehman – of the LeT escaped the dragnet and the security forces had launched a manhunt for them.

Reports said while the encounter was raging on, locals came out of their homes and began attacking police and paramilitary forces deployed on the outer ring of the cordon. Government forces, in retaliation, used teargas shells to disperse the protesters who were trying to move closer to the encounter site.

Amid rising tensions in the Valley, with nearly one militant being killed in an encounter everyday in one or the other part of Kashmir for the past fortnight, authorities have blocked the mobile and internet services across Pulwama to prevent dissemination of posts in support of the militants.

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