SRINAGAR, Oct 21 - At least seven civilians were killed in an explosion at an encounter site in Jammu and Kashmir�s Kulgam district on Sunday after a gunfight that left three militants dead was over, officials said.
Police said the gunfight took place after security forces cordoned off a village in Kulgam on a tip-off that militants were hiding there. The exchange lasted several hours in which three militants were killed and two Army soldiers injured.
Police said despite repeated warnings that civilians should not visit encounter sites unless these are declared safe, dozens of locals rushed there. Someone from the crowd fiddled with an unexploded substance, resulting in the tragic incident, police said.
Reports from the village said locals were busy dousing the flames at the house that was damaged during the encounter when a deafening explosion occurred.
The Kulgam district hospital authorities said initially three injured were brought to the hospital who were declared dead on arrival.
�Two injured civilians while being taken to a Srinagar hospital died on the way, while another was declared brought dead by doctors at the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences in Srinagar,� police said. Later one more injured succumbed to his wounds at a hospital. A total of seven civilians have died in this explosion, while the injured were being treated in different hospitals. � IANS