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Soldier, civilian wounded in Sopore fighting

Srinagar, Feb 24 (IANS) An army soldier and a civilian were wounded Wednesday after a separatist guerrilla hiding in the wreckage of razed houses opened fire at the security forces busy in the clearance operation in north Kashmir’s Sopore town, police said.

A senior police officer told IANS that a lone hiding guerrilla opened fire at the army troops busy in the debris clearance operation at Tuesday’s encounter site in Sopore town, 54 km from here. A soldier of the Rashtriya Rifles and a civilian were injured in the firing.

‘The militant was later killed after an exchange of fire,’ the officer said.

The security forces early Wednesday morning began the debris clearance operation using earth movers and recovered the body of a guerrilla who was killed in Tuesday’s gunbattle.

‘The debris clearance will take some more time. It is a difficult job,’ he added.

Security forces had blasted the three adjoining houses in the Chinkipora locality of Sopore town Tuesday evening to end the daylong standoff that claimed the lives of three army soldiers including an officer.

Sopore town continued to remain shut for the second day running with security forces patrolling the various localities enforcing security restrictions.

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