Apart from it, two security personnel and over 40 civilians were injured in the ongoing operation, said the police official adding that the injured jawans were being treated at the Army's 92 base hospital in Srinagar.
One civilian, identified as Sartaj Ahmad Ganie of Khudwani, Kulgam, received critical injuries during the clashes near encounter site. "The gunfight is still underway", said news agency IANS, quoting police.
This was strongly contested by locals who assert that the civilians were shot dead by the security forces determined to break up the street protests. Two more Army personnel were injured and shifted to hospital for treatment, they said.
With today's incident, the toll of civilian killings has mounted to nine at the hands of government forces, apart from two civilians killed by unknown gunmen in Hajin area from the beginning of this month.
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They said security forces blasted the house from where the militants were firing at them following which the firing stopped. Witnesses added that an Army gunship helicopter was also used during the operation. Another injured person is 25-year-old Adil Ahmad from Anantnag. But there was no trace of the militants, who appeared to have escaped in the clashes between civilians and security forces. Another civilian is seriously injured.
Authorities ordered the closure of all schools and colleges in Kulgam and Internet services were suspended in south Kashmir areas.
Kashmir's Joint Resistance Leadership, including Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik, have called for a complete shutdown on Thursday across the area against the killings.
The latest killings came days after 13 militants, five civilians and three soldiers were killed in one of the most violent days in Kashmir in recent years on April 1.