A 45-year-old woman, Saleema, who was injured in an overnight encounter between militants and security forces in north Kashmir’s Handwara area, succumbed to her injuries on Monday.
This comes two days after the encounter in Gurez sector of north Kashmir's Bandipora district. An army lieutenant lost his life and the army killed 12 militants when they tried to cross the border on Saturday.
Handwara superintendent of police Aslam Choudhary told HT: “The woman succumbed to her injuries at the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences in Srinagar.”
A police spokesman said the encounter was on till late Monday evening in Padlu-Bhak area of Handwara, about 120 km from Srinagar.
“According to reports, a heavily armed group of militants had reached Bhak in the upper reaches of Handwara, during the intervening night of August 20-21, where about five families were putting up in a dhok (tribal hut) and had demanded food,” the spokesman said.
The militants asked villagers to guide them towards Brinjal and Ghalali areas, but the villagers refused.
According to the spokesman, militants then asked them to provide food the following night also.
After having food, the militants left the place but were intercepted by the army.
“The militants then ran back towards the dhok and started firing indiscriminately, which led to chaos and triggered an encounter.
In the ensuing exchange of fire, civilians Saleema and Abdul Rashid Paswal, 35, received bullet injuries.
The spokesman said other civilians had been rescued from the area.
“We haven’t recovered any militant’s body but the search in on,” the SP said.