A 17-year-old girl was killed on Tuesday in an exchange of fire between militants and security forces in Kishtwar district's Kanow Patnazi forests, sparking off protests by locals who alleged she had been gunned down by the army.
On receiving specific information about the presence of militants in Kanow Patnazi-Kither area about 240 kms from here in the district, the police and 26 Rashtriya Rifles launched a search operation and laid an ambush on Tuesday, police sources said.
The militants opened fire on the army prompting them to retaliate and in the ensuing exchange of fire one 17-year-old Gujjar girl died on spot, they said, adding that she has been identified as Amina, daughter of one Ibrahim Gujjar of Kither Bunjwah.
A militant Mohd Ishaq was also injured in the gunbattle which was going on but managed to escape, they said. A massive search operation has been launched in the area to track him down, they added.
The death of the girl triggered protests by locals who alleged that she was killed by army.
Senior officers have rushed to the spot to assess the situation.