Three militants likely trapped in Kupwara gunfight, clashes erupt

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Three militants are believed to have been trapped in a gunfight at Handwara in frontier district of north Kashmir, officials said Thursday.
Giving details emerging from the encounter site, which is taking place at Shatgund in Handwara, police and other forces cordoned off a village following intelligence inputs about presence of the militants, they said.
There was a lull in firing at around 9 AM, prompting the police to initiate search operation at the encounter site, but the same had to be suspended after firing resumed after 15 minutes, the officials said.
Reports said that scholar-turned-militant, Manan Wani, who was enrolled as a PhD scholar with the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and joined militant ranks in January this year, was also trapped in the gunfight.
Authorities have suspended the Internet services in the Kupwara district "as a precautionary measure". Schools and colleges have also been closed in the district.
Educational institutions have also been closed in parts of valley in wake of the gunfight.
Meanwhile, clashes have erupted near the site of the gunfight with youth pelting the forces with stones which responded by firing tear gas.
Several protesters were reportedly injured in the clashes which were going on at the time of filing of this report. (With PTI inputs)

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