Five killed in Kashmir clashes

Five killed in Kashmir clashes


Armed clashes in Indian-controlled Kashmir have left three militants and two Indian forces dead.

A fierce firefight broke out after hundreds of Indian forces surrounded Awneera, a village about 50 kilometers south of the main city of Srinagar, on Saturday following a tip-off about armed militants in the area.

A police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the militants were identified as locals.

Kashmiri civilians flee after Indian forces fire live ammunition near the site of a gun battle with suspected militants, in Chadoora, in the Badgam district of Srinagar, on March 28, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

As news of the militants’ deaths spread, hundreds of residents from neighboring villages took to the streets in protest, throwing stones at soldiers and chanting slogans against Indian rule.

In a separate incident early on Sunday, militants fired at an army convoy in the northern area of Hajin and injured two police officers and a soldier, the same police officer said.

On Saturday, a civilian and a soldier were killed in an exchange of gunfire between Indian and Pakistani forces along the border Line of Contact (LOC), which divides Kashmir between the two rivaling nuclear-armed neighbors.

The Himalayan territory has been divided between India and Pakistan since their partition and the end of British colonial rule in 1947.

Kashmiri villagers carry the body of a militant during his funeral in the Lelhar Village of Pulwama, on August 1, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Both countries claim the territory in full but control only parts of it. They have fought three wars over the region.

India has deployed hundreds of thousands of troops to maintain security in the Muslim-majority region, where people oppose Indian rule.

Militant forces, backed by the locals, have fought in Indian-controlled Kashmir since 1989, demanding independence or a merger of the territory with Pakistan. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the clashes.


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