- Army patrol was attacked by stone throwers in Kulgam, reports said
- Mobile internet service were suspended in Kulgam and Anantnag
- About 10 protesters have been injured in the clashes
A 16-year-old girl was among three people who died in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam district after security forces opened fire at stone-throwing protesters today. The army says they had to resort to controlled firing after an Area Domination Patrol unit was attacked by a crowd of nearly 500 people in the district's Hawoora area.
The army, in a statement this evening, said the soldiers cautioned the stone throwers, who repeatedly threw petrol bombs at the patrolling party. At one point, the statement added, some unidentified terrorists also fired upon the army column which resulted in injuries to some soldiers.
"In response to this grave provocation and to ensure security of own troops, controlled firing was resorted to by the army which resulted in unfortunate loss of human lives. The matter is being investigated to ascertain facts on ground," the statement said.
Those killed were identified as Shakir Ahmad, 22, Irshad Majid, 20 and 16-year-old Andleeb - all residents of Hawoora in Kulgam.
About 10 protesters were also injured in the clashes, two of whom received bullet injuries, news agency IANS reported. They were taken to hospital.
Mobile internet services were suspended in of Kulgam, Anantnag, Shopian and Pulwama to curb rumours and more protests.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra called a high-level meeting to discuss the deaths and summoned senior officers of the army and the police, sources said.
The deaths come on a day when separatists have called for a strike in Kashmir for the arrest of Asiya Andrabi, chief of the Kashmiri women's separatist group Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM) and two of her associates by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
They also came just a day before the anniversary of the encounter in 2016 in which terrorist Burhan Wani was killed, sparking huge protests across the state.