A girl below 10 was killed by a stray bullet during a counter-militancy operation in which security forces gunned down three militants in north Kashmir on Wednesday.
Her death comes a week after a 15-year-old boy, Amir Nazir, was killed in a similar manner at Padgampora in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
The girl, identified as Kaneeza, a boy and a policeman were hit by bullets during a fierce gunfight that erupted early morning between security forces and militants in Kalaroos village.
The condition of the wounded child, Faisal, is stable, police said.
Director general of police SP Vaid said the girl was hit inside her home. “It’s an unfortunate incident. The girl was in her home.”
The army has not issued any statement about the girl’s death, but a police spokesman confirmed that she was hit by a stray bullet not more than 100 meters from the site where the operation was on.
“The wounded were shifted to a hospital for treatment but the girl died. The boy was sent to Srinagar,” the police spokesman said.
Wounded policeman Danish Ahmad was also shifted to Srinagar for treatment.
Officers could not confirm the dead girl’s age, but independent reports suggest she was between seven and 10.
The operation began after specific information about militants holed up in the area.
An army spokesman said the identity of the militants was yet to be ascertained. The bodies have been retrieved along with three weapons the slain militants were carrying.
Last week, the teenager caught in the crossfire died when a bullet pierced through his neck.
Police alleged that Amir had gone close to the site of the shooting to throw stones at security forces.