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Soldier killed in Handwara gun fight, Clashes erupt in Hajin during search operation

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Srinagar: An army soldier was killed in a brief gunfight in Kralgund area of Handwara in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Friday.

A police officer said that the army’s 32 RR launched a cordon-and-search-operation at Kachlu village during wee hours today.

As the cordon was being tightened, the militants opened fire triggering off a gunfight, he said.

In the gunfight, an army soldier suffered critical bullet wounds and was shifted to nearby military hospital for treatment. However, he succumbed at the facility.

He said that the searches were going on in the area to trace the militants who fled from spot after the exchange of fire.

Meanwhile, clashes broke out in Hajin area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Friday soon after government forces launched a cordon-and-search-operation (CASO) in the area.

Reports said that a joint team of army’s 13 RR, SOG and CRPF launched a cordon at Mir Mohalla area of Hajin today morning.

A top police officer said that the cordon-and-search operation was launched in the village following specific inputs about the presence of some militants.

“Some gunshots were fired by militants soon after the siege was laid in the area,” he said.

Additional reinforcements of the army have been rushed to the site and the entire area has been cordoned off to trace out the militants hiding in the area, he said.

As the news about the cordon spread, the locals took to streets and pelted the forces with stones. The police and paramilitary forces used tear smoke shells to disperse the youth.

Clashes were going on in the area when last reports came.

Meanwhile, authorities have suspended Internet services in parts of Bandipora including Hajin in wake of the ongoing operation at Mir Mohalla.