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SRINAGAR: Seven civilians were killed as Indian troops fired on protesters on Saturday after a gunfight left three fighters and a soldier dead in India-held Kashmir, police and hospital officials said.

The fighting erupted soon after troops laid siege to a house in the Pulwama area where the fighters were hiding, a police officer said.

Three fighters went from the house to an orchard to fight the Indian soldiers and were martyred. The gunfight also left an Indian soldier dead, senior police officer Swayam Prakash Pani said.

While the gunfight was in progress, hundreds of villagers marched towards the orchard, shouting slogans in support of the three fighters and throwing stones at the troops, witnesses said.

“It was mayhem. Six protesters died in the ensuing firing by soldiers,” a police officer said.

Hospital officials said a seventh man died later from gunshot wounds.

Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2018