After three civilians were killed on Saturday in firing in Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir by its troops, the Army said that the soldiers had to open fire as they came under attack from a stone-pelting mob along with terrorists who fired at them.

“An Area Domination Patrol (ADP) of the Army, while moving in (the) general area (of) Hawoora in Kulgam came under heavy stone-pelting. As the ADP tried to extricate, they were chased by an aggressive and menacing crowd of 400-500 which kept building up and coming dangerously close,” an Army spokesperson said.

The official said the troops, while exercising extreme restraint, cautioned the stone-pelters, who, however, refused to relent and repeatedly threw petrol bombs and stones at the patrolling party. 

“At one point of time some unidentified terrorists also fired on the column. This resulted in some soldiers receiving grevious injuries,” the spokesperson said.

In response to this grave provocation and to ensure the security of its own troops, controlled firing was resorted to by the Army which resulted in the unfortunate loss of civilian lives. 

“The matter is being investigated to ascertain the facts on the ground,” the official said.

Three civilians including a teenage girl named Andaleeb were killed in the Army firing. However, it is not yet clear whether the three civilians were part of the stone-pelting mob or not.