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India: Top Kashmir militant killed in fight with Indian forces

9th Jul 2016
India: Top Kashmir militant killed in fight with Indian forces

By Zahid Rafiq

 

SRINAGAR, Indian-held Kashmir (AA): A young Kashmiri militant commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen was killed along with two other militants in a gun battle in south Kashmir on Friday, police confirmed.

Indian police chief in Kashmir K. Rajendra confirmed that Burhan Muzaffar Wani, 21, was among three militants killed in an exchange of fire in Verinag between a joint police-Indian Army team and militants.

Wani, who became a militant at the age of 15, had been seen as the face of the new generation of militants in Kashmir.

Last year, Wani’s older brother Khalid Muzaffar was killed in a gun battle by Indian forces while returning from a meeting with his brother in the Tral forest.

According to locals in south Kashmir, thousands of people have taken to the streets and await the dead bodies of the three militants.

“People from all over south Kashmir are coming to the town of Tral and there are clashes going on between people and the Indian forces in several places,” Zahid Maqbool, a journalist from Tral in south Kashmir, told Anadolu Agency.

Kashmir’s resistance leadership called for a complete shutdown to be observed on Saturday.

Indian authorities have imposed a curfew in most areas of south Kashmir and parts of Srinagar, a local Indian capital.

Kashmir, a majority-Muslim Himalayan region, is claimed by India and Pakistan and held in part by both countries.

The two countries have fought three wars – in 1948, 1965, and 1971 – since they were partitioned in 1947, two of them over Kashmir.

Since 1989, Kashmiri resistance groups in Indian-held Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for either independence or unification with neighboring Pakistan.

More than 70,000 Kashmiris have been killed so far in the violence, most of them by Indian forces. India maintains over half a million soldiers in Indian-held Kashmir.

 

[Photo: Indian paramilitary soldiers stand near the damaged vehicle which was attacked by suspected militants in Pampore, on the outskirts of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian controlled Kashmir on June 25, 2016. Photographer: Faisal Khan/AA]

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