Encounter breaks out in Handwara village, schools closed in several places in valley

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An encounter broke out between militants and government forces at Shatgund Balla, Qalamabad in Handwara area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

Reports  said that a joint team of army’s 30 RR and SOG cordoned off Shatgund Balla area at around 2:30 a.m.

The Joint team later at around 3:00 a.m. fired some warning shots towards the suspected spot, however there was no immediate response.

At around 9:20, as the forces were carrying house to house searches, militants fired at them, which was retaliated, leading a gunfight, a top police officer said.

The officer said the operation was launched following inputs about the presence of some militants in the area.

Meanwhile, the authorities closed all the educational institutions in the frontier district and snapped internet services in parts of Handwara and Kupwara.

An official of the district administration  said that the all schools and colleges across Kupwara district shall remain closed except in Machil, Tanghdar and Keran areas.

The decision has been taken as a precautionary measure to avoid law and order situation, he said.

Meanwhile, schools and colleges have been closed in Bandipora district along with Colleges and Higher Secondary Schools in Pattan and Baramulla. Also degree college Pulwama has been closed by the authorities, the officials added

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