It was a bloody day for Jammu & Kashmir as a gun battle between security forces and militants in Pulwama district sparked clashes between police and civilians, many of them had rushed to the encounter site to take away the body of a militant, leaving death and devastation in its trail. Seven persons have been killed and many more have been injured in the clashes. Jammu and Kashmir police said a crowd which came dangerously close from different parts to the encounter site got injured while the operation was going on. \u201cThe injured were evacuated to a hospital where unfortunately seven persons succumbed to their injuries,\u201d said the state police. In an official statement, the state police said: \u201cThe loss of civilians is deeply grieved. Police once again appeal the citizens to remain away from encounter site as it is a prohibited zone which involves significant danger to life because of the nature of encounter.\u201d Death of civilians has sparked protests in several parts of the state and additional forces have been rushed to the sensitive areas. Authorities have also snapped mobile internet in several parts of Kashmir valley. Separatist group Hurriyat Conference has called for a three-day shutdown and a protest march to the Badamibagh cantonment in Srinagar on Monday. According to the latest official data, the number of terror incidents in the state has nearly doubled this year due to a spike in infiltration attempts across the border and increased action against terrorists by the security forces. Today morning, a search operation was jointly launched by the security forces, involving the Jawans of 55th Battalion of Indian Army\u2019s Rashtriya Rifles, Jawans from 182nd and 183rd Battalions of Central Reserve Police Force and also from Jammu and Kashmir Police. The operation was conducted based on a credible input about the presence of militants in Monghama area of village Sirnoo in District Pulwama, some 40 kilometers from summer capital Srinagar. Police said the search and cordon operation was conducted in the open field, where terrorists have built a hideout for themselves, who fired indiscriminately leading to the gun battle. While one army Jawan Kishan Singh has succumbed to his injuries another army Jawan got injured in the gun battle who is being treated at a hospital, but the security forces succeeded in killing three militants belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen. Army\u2019s deserter Zahoor Thokar is among the three militants killed by the security forces. Zahoor had fled with his weapon in July last year and joined Hizbul Mujahideen. Zahoor was also suspected to be involved in the killing of another army Jawan Aurangzeb, and abduction and killing of police constable Aqib Ahmad Wagay, a native of Puchal in Pulwama district.