Five militants killed in Kulgam district gunfight (Lead)

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Srinagar, Feb 10 (IANS) Five militants were killed on Sunday in a gunfight in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam district.

Defence Ministry spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said the five were killed in Kelam village.

Police said the precise identity of the slain militants was being ascertained. "Arms and ammunition have been recovered from their possession," an officer said.

Following specific information about the presence of militants, security forces started a cordon and search operation in the village.

As the cordon tightened, the militants fired at the security forces, triggering an encounter, police added.

Clashes between civilian protesters and the security forces also took place near the gunfight site. The security forces used tear smoke and pellets to quell the mob.

Mobile Internet services have been suspended as a precaution in Kulgam district.