SRINAGAR: Five fighters were killed in a gun battle in India-held Kashmir on Sunday, triggering clashes between locals and soldiers.
At least 50 fighters and 23 Indian soldiers have died since April during outbreaks of fighting in occupied Kashmir and along the Line of Control.
Indian officials and locals said the latest bout started after Indian soldiers and police cordoned off a village in the southern part of the valley on suspicions that armed men were hiding in a home.
A firefight broke out during which the five men were killed, Indian army spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said.
A police officer added that two more fighters were suspected of being trapped inside the cluster of cordoned homes.
Hundreds gather on the streets, shouting ‘Go India, go back’
Hundreds of villagers gathered on the streets, throwing stones at Indian soldiers and shouting “Go India, go back”.
Police fired tear gas and metal pellets to disperse the crowd, another police official said.
New Delhi revoked the special status of the occupied state in August and imposed a months-long curfew that cut off communications and restricted movement.
The curfew has been eased in recent months, although the region remains affected by the coronavirus lockdown.
Sunday’s fighting came a day after unknown men shot dead a young man near Sopore town. The motive was not known, but police believe anti-India fighters were behind the killing.
Published in Dawn, June 8th, 2020