M A I N   N E W S

4 boys die in Kupwara firing
Ehsan Fazili
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, February 22
Four boys, three of them minors, were killed in an incident of firing at Dodhipora village near Handwara in Kupwara district of north Kashmir this afternoon leading to protest by locals against the security forces.

The police and the security forces said the firing took place when a search party of the Army was fired upon by militants hiding in the village.

A defence spokesman said acting on a specific information the troops of 33 and 21 RR launched a joint operation to flush out hiding militants in Dodhipora village near Handwara this afternoon. The militants opened fire on the troops while coming out of a house in which they were hiding. Four boys were injured in the firing of whom two succumbed to their injuries on the spot, while two others died while being shifted to hospital.

Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who returned to Jammu after addressing a public meeting in Kupwara today, has expressed displeasure and anguish at the killing of four boys at Dodhipora, Handwara. He said a magisterial inquiry had already been ordered. He directed the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Mr Basharat Ahmad Dhar, and the Inspector-General of Police, Kashmir Range, to visit the spot. Chief Minister has also conveyed deep sympathies with the families of the victims.

Those killed have been identified as Ghulam Hassan Bhat, 18, Abdul Samad Mir, 12, Aamir Akbar Hajam, 14 and Shakir Ahmad Wani, 8 years. They were reportedly playing in a ground at about 1.30 p.m. when the firing took place.


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