Jammu and Kashmir: 4 Kashmiris killed in gunfights with Indian forces

18th Apr 2020
Jammu and Kashmir: 4 Kashmiris killed in gunfights with Indian forces

By Nusrat Sidiq

 

SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir, India (AA): Four Kashmiri militants were killed in two separate gunfights with Indian government forces in Indian-administered Kashmir, police said on Friday.

Two militants were killed during a search operation in Dairoo Keegam area of Shopian district on Friday morning, while two others were shot dead in Kishtwar district later in the afternoon. Police said four weapons were recovered from the militants.

A police official, who requested anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media, told Anadolu Agency that two of the four militants have been identified so far.

He said the two men shot dead in Kishtwar were locals who were involved in an axe attack on police officers on April 13, in which one cop was killed and another injured.

The bodies of the two militants killed in the Shopian gunfight have been sent to the police headquarters in Srinagar for identification, the officer told Anadolu Agency.

He said it was not yet known whether those two militants were locals of Indian-administered Kashmir.

So far this year, at least 50 militants have been killed in the Muslim-majority region in over 28 gunfights with Indian forces.

Earlier this month, 10 militants and six Indian soldiers were killed in four separate incidents within the space of 10 days.

On April 8, a militant identified as Sajjad Ahmad Dar was killed after Indian forces laid siege to Arampora village in northern Baramulla district.

On April 5, five Indian paratroopers and as many Kashmiri militants were killed in a shoot-out in Kupwara district.

An Indian army spokesman said the militants were trying to cross the Line of Control (LoC), a de facto border which divides Indian- and Pakistani-administered Kashmir.

Pakistan’s military rejected the Indian claim, terming it New Delhi’s attempt to divert international attention from the humanitarian crisis in the disputed region.

On April 4, four militants were gunned down inside a house in southern Kulgam district.

Two days earlier, militants shot dead a paramilitary trooper in Bijbehara area of Anantnag district, one of the four southern districts where a resurgent militancy has been active for the past eight years.

Disputed region

Jammu and Kashmir is held by India and Pakistan in parts, and claimed by both in full. A small sliver is also held by China.

Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought four wars – in 1948, 1965, 1971, and 1999 – three of them over Kashmir.

Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or unification with neighboring Pakistan.

According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.

[Photo:  Indian paramilitary soldiers deployed in Srinagar , Jammu and Kashmir, which continues to remain closed due to the lockdown  on April 10, 2020.
Photographer:  Faisal Khan/AA]

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