Standoff continues after J&K cross-firing

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Srinagar, July 1 (IANS) A standoff continued on Saturday following a cross-firing between security forces and holed-up militants in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district, police said.

Bashir Lashkari, a militant commander believed to have masterminded an ambush in Achabal area where six policemen including a Station House Officer (SHO) was killed last month, is hiding in a house in Brenthi Batpora village with three of his associates, top police sources told IANS.

“There is a civilian family inside the house…It is a hostage situation and our first priority is the their safety,” the sources added.

The cross-firing began after security forces launched an operation in the village following a tip-off about the militants hiding in the house.

A woman civilian, identified as Tahira, was killed in the incident.

Meanwhile, locals started pelting stones at the security forces. Twelve protesters were reported to be injured.

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“Additional forces have been rushed to the spot including paramilitary troops and a helicopter to secure the safe release of the civilians trapped in the house,” the police added.



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