Srinagar (Agencies): A student was killed during an ambush operation of the Army in north Kashmir's Kupwara district, triggering protests by locals.

Manzoor Ahmad Magray, 22, was shot dead by the troopers of 4 Para of the Army, who had laid an ambush in Chogal area of Handwara town, 85 kms from here, in Kupwara

While regretting the loss of life in the operation, Defence Spokesman Lt Col J S Brar said in a statement here that based on specific intelligence about movement of militants, Army troops had laid an ambush last night to trap them.

At around 2230 hours, the troops detected suspicious movement of two persons towards the ambush. "In accordance with the Standing Operative Procedures, the troops challenged the individuals to surrender. Both the individuals paid no heed to the challenge by the troops and attempted to run away in the cover of darkness, on which the troops opened firing
resulting in fatal injuries to Manzoor Ahmad Magray while the other unidentified person escaped.

Although the troops strictly adhered to the challenging procedures as per the Rules of Engagement, the Army regrets the loss of life, more so, as the year has been declared by the Army as the year of the 'Kashmiri Awam', he said.

"We deeply and sincerely express our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family on this incident," he said.

The killing of Magray led to protests in Chogal as the residents demanded arrest of the Army personnel involved in the killing, the sources said.

Protests were going on in the area till last reports came in.

This is second incident of a civilian getting killed in Kupwara district in as many months. An unidentified youth was allegedly shot dead by security forces at Warnaw in Lolab
area of Kupwara on January 4.