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SRINAGAR: One civilian, two militants and a policeman were killed in an encounter which broke out in Srinagar on Wednesday.  On early Wednesday morning, a gunfight started in Fateh Kadal  area of downtown Srinagar district between militants and security forces. Reports said that a joint team of Special Officers Group of police, CRPF and Army were acting on a specific tip-off on the presence of the militants in Karfali Mohallah Fateh Kadal.

Soon after, the force reached near the suspected houses where the militants were trapped, militants fired upon government forces triggering an encounter, reports said. In the three-hour-long gunfight, two militants, a policeman and a civilian were killed. As per police officials, the slain civilian was identified as Rayees Habibullah, who is the son of the owner of the house where militants were trapped. The slain policeman has been identified as Komal from Reasi area of Jammu region. 

As per the reports, heavy clashes broke out between government forces and protestors in Fateh Kadal and Khanyar area of downtown after the gunfight. Following the encounter authorities ordered the closure of schools and colleges in Srinagar besides snapping of the mobile internet services in Srinagar following the gunfight . An official said that mobile Internet services were snapped in the district as a “precautionary measure”. 

Meanwhile protests erupted at the Islamic University of science and technology (IUST) campus in south Kashmir’s Pulwama against the killing of  militants and a civilian in an encounter. Scores of students staged a demonstration this morning when news spread in the campus that militants were killed  in an encounter. 

Meanwhile many national and local journalists were allegedly thrashed by the forces near the encounter site while covering the gunfight on the ground. One of the photojournalists told Press Trust of Kashmir that as soon they reached near the encounter site, all the journalists gathered in one corner to protect themselves from stray bullets. A group of SOG rushed to them and beat them indiscriminately, leading to many journalists being injured. They even fired shots to scare them away, he said.