SRINAGAR: Two border guards and a suspected rebel were killed on Monday in a gun battle in India-held Kashmir, the Indian army said.
The shootout took place near the de facto border with Pakistan, although it was not immediately clear whether the dead fighter had crossed into India from there.
“Two Border Security Force soldiers were martyred and a terrorist was killed in the gun battle,” army spokesman N.N. Joshi told AFP.
Several rebel groups have for decades been fighting an estimated 500,000 Indian soldiers deployed in the restive territory, demanding either independence for the region or its merger with Pakistan.
Tens of thousands have died in the fighting since 1989 when the armed rebellion against Indian rule over the Himalayan territory began.
Large parts of the restive territory including Srinagar have been under a strict curfew for the past month following widespread anti-India protests, sparked by the killing of a popular young rebel leader in a gunfight with government forces.
At least 55 civilians and two police have been killed in the latest unrest, the worst since 2010, and nearly 5,000 protesters and bystanders have been injured.
Indian police arrest 1,300 youth in a month
Indian police has arrested at least 1,300 youth from various parts of Kashmir during the past one month while frequent raids by police have become order of the day in the territory.
The police raids have forced hundreds of youth to go into hiding while people across Kashmir remain awake during nights to foil arrests of youth, reported KMS.
Reports said most of the arrests have been made in Islamabad, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian districts of south Kashmir.
“Over 400 youth have been arrested from these districts in the past one month,” a senior police official confirmed.
Several youth have also been arrested from North and Central Kashmir districts, he added.
On Sunday, Inspector General of Police admitted in an official handout that 1,000 youth had been arrested since July 2016. Independent sources however placed the number far higher.
Reports said from the past one week, sleuths of Special Operation Group Police and Central Reserve Police Force are carrying out joint nocturnal raids to arrest of youth for participating in anti-India and pro-freedom protests since July 8.
They said hundreds of youth have gone into the hiding because of frequent police raids.