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19 June 2017, 12:46 | Opal Carroll
Unconfirmed reports said that a commander of Lashkar e Taiba was killed in the gun battle.
Matoo was active in Kulgam-Islamabad belt and police officials say he was involved in a number of attacks in the area.
In recent years, Kashmiris, mainly youths, have displayed open solidarity with anti-India rebels and sought to protect them by engaging troops in street clashes during military operations against the militants.
According to locals, the protesters were trying to provide cover to the militants engaged in the gun battle and helping the militants escape.
"Other militants killed in the encounter were Nasir Wani and Adil Mushtaq Mir".
Arms and ammunition including AK rifles, magazines and grenades have also been recovered from the site. A top-ranking LeT commander, along-with his aide, is believed to have been killed in the encounter.
Citing how the security arrangement has been strengthened also keeping in mind the annual Amarnath Yatra, Director General of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Rajiv R. Bhatnagar said, "For the Amarnath Yatra, we have made the comprehensive arrangements". A 22-year-old youth Muhammad Ashraf Khar was hit by a bullet and 12 other protesting civilians were injured in the Arwani clashes.
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The policemen were shot by the terrorists from close range.
The militants had laid an ambush on Anantnag-Achabal road and fired at the police party. The police party was travelling in a non-bulletproof vehicle when terrorists ambushed them.
Sources said they were on barricade duty at Thajiwara in Achabal following inputs of terrorist movement in the area. Army has been called out to undertake a combing operation in the area.
Those who were killed included the Station House Officer of Achabal area.
Defence ministry spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Manish Mehta said, "The Pakistan Army initiated unprovoked firing on Indian Army posts in Naushera sector around 5.15 am on Friday".
Also on Friday, Indian soldiers fired at a taxi after it ignored orders to halt at a checkpoint in northern Bandipora, Khan said.
Twenty of the injured persons are being treated at different nearby hospitals while some of them with severe injuries have been referred to Srinagar hospitals.
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