7 militants killed in intensifying Kashmir violence
Srinagar, India, June 20 (EFE).- Seven insurgents were killed by security forces in the latest outbreak of violence in India’s disputed Kashmir region, authorities said on Monday.
The rebels were killed in three raids over the previous 24 hours, beginning Sunday morning.
Four militants were killed in the north Kashmir region of Kupwara, two in the southern Kulgam area, and one in the Pulwama district.
Showkat Sheikh, an arrested guerrilla, was among the killed insurgents.
Police claimed Sheikh tipped off security officers about a militant hideaway in the north Kashmir Lolab valley, roughly 130 km from the main city of Srinagar.
A group of militants hiding in the woods opened fire on security troops, igniting a firefight.
A police official informed EFE that four terrorists, including Sheikh, were killed in the exchange of fire.
According to police, two of the killed militants were “Pakistani nationals.”
Two more insurgents were killed in a military operation in the southern Kulgam district, while another was shot dead in the adjoining Pulwama area.
The most recent onslaught against militants came after targeted executions of civilians by suspected insurgents in the disputed territory where rebels have been resisting Indian control since the late 1980s.
“By targeting innocent civilians including women & kids, unarmed policemen, and outside laborers, terrorists cannot deter our efforts to bring peace in the valley,” Kashmir Vijay Kumar said on Twitter.
So far this year, security personnel have killed more than 114 insurgents, including 32 foreigners, Kumar said.
Authorities do not hand over the remains of killed militants to their legal heirs out of fear of anti-India rallies at burial processions.
The Himalayan region, which lost its semi-autonomous status in August 2019, has been the focus of a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan since their independence from British rule in 1947.
India accuses Pakistan of sponsoring the Kashmir militancy, which Islamabad has long denied.
The nuclear neighbors, which claim the whole Himalayan territory, have fought two wars over Kashmir. EFE