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A soldier and three civilians were killed as militants clashed with security forces on Wednesday in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam district, triggering violent street protests, officials and witnesses said.

Following a tip-off about the presence of two to three Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists in Khudwani, security forces laid a trap and began combing the area last night, officials said.

Meanwhile, Srinagar based spokesman of the Indian Army told IBNS that one army jawan sccumbed to his injuries at army hospital here, while one civilian was also were killed during the protest near encounter site.

A police spokesman on official twitter account of J&K police tweeted, "Cordon and Search operation being carried out at Wani Mohalla #Khudwani, Wanpoh, District Kulgam turns into an encounter".

The security forces opened fire on alleged stone-pelters, killing three persons including 16-year-old Bilal Ahmad Tantray of Qoimoh village of Kulgam. The third youth, Faisal Illahi, who was injured in the shooting succumbed to his injuries in a local hospital.

As the situation remains tense, all schools and colleges in Kulgam have been asked to stay close and internet services remain suspended across south Kashmir.

Security forces resorted to burst teargas shells and fired pellets to disperse the demonstrators, who were pelting stones.

Reports claim the civilian killings were caused after the local populace hindered in the operation of security forces. "There is no way the militants are going to escape", the officer said. "But, after searching the entire area, no body of any militant was recovered", they added.