Clashes in Kashmir, Indian Troops Kill 5 Suspected Militants

Indian government forces killed five suspected militants in two clashes in Indian-controlled Kashmir Tuesday, a day after rebels killed five soldiers in a gun battle in the disputed region.

Police said the first clashes erupted after an attack by the counter-insurgency army and police in the Imamsahab area of ​​Shopian district, South Kashmir.

The security forces surrounded the area on Monday night (11/10), while the insurgents refused to surrender, sparking a firefight. Three insurgents were killed in clashes that continued into Tuesday morning, police said.

Residents said Indian troops blew up a civilian’s house with a bomb during the clashes, a common tactic used by Indian troops in Kashmir.

Indian Reserve Police (CRPF) personnel check the bags of scooter riders in Srinagar, 12 October 2021. REUTERS/Danish Ismail

Indian Reserve Police (CRPF) personnel check the bags of scooter riders in Srinagar, 12 October 2021. REUTERS/Danish Ismail

In separate clashes on Tuesday, two suspected militants were killed in an apple orchard during a counter-insurgency operation in the village of Feeripora, also in Shopian district, police said.

On Monday (11/10), five Indian soldiers were killed in the deadliest shootout with insurgents this year in a jungle area of ​​South Kashmir’s Surankote district. Lieutenant Colonel Devender Anand, a spokesman for the Indian military, said troops were continuing their search for suspected militants in the area on Tuesday.

Violence escalated after government forces launched a major operation in the Kashmir Valley following a series of killings in the region’s main city, Srinagar, last week.

Police detained more than 700 people for questioning after suspected militants shot dead a prominent Kashmiri Hindu chemist, two Hindu and Sikh religious school teachers, and a Hindu street food vendor from the East Indian state of Bihar.

Police said in a statement that one of the militants killed on Tuesday was involved in the killing of the street food vendor.

Indian security forces stand guard in armored vehicles outside a school after suspected militants shot dead two teachers in Srinagar, October 7, 2021. (REUTERS/Danish Ismail)

Indian security forces stand guard in armored vehicles outside a school after suspected militants shot dead two teachers in Srinagar, October 7, 2021. (REUTERS/Danish Ismail)

India and Pakistan both claim the divided Kashmir region as their territory as a whole.

Rebels in the Indian-administered part of Kashmir have been battling New Delhi’s rule since 1989. Most Kashmiri Muslims support the rebels’ goal of unifying the region, either under Pakistani rule or as an independent state on its own.

India insists Kashmiri militancy is Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. Pakistan denies the accusations, and most Kashmiris view it as a legitimate struggle for independence.

Tens of thousands of civilians, rebels and government soldiers died in the conflict. [ab/uh]

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