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Three Kashmiri separatists die in gun battle

Updated July 23, 2018

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SRINAGAR: Three separatists were killed in a gun battle with troops in India-held Kashmir early on Sunday, police said.

Counterinsurgency police and soldiers staged an early morning raid on a cluster of homes in southern Khudwani village on a tip that separatists were hiding there and came under fire, said top police officer S.P. Vaid. In the ensuing fighting, three separatists were killed while troops suffered no casualties, he said.

Residents said the raiding troops torched two houses where the separatists were trapped.

The fighting came a day after separatists abducted and killed a police official in the same area.

In recent years, local police working with India’s counterinsurgency forces have increasingly been targeted by the separatists, who accuse them of being collaborators.

Kashmiris have been fighting Indian control over the disputed Himalayan region since 1989, demanding that the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or recognised as an independent country.

Most Kashmiris support the cause while also participating in civilian street protests against Indian control over their region.

Published in Dawn, July 23rd, 2018