Kashmir clashes: Eight dead as troops surround gunmen

Kashmir clashes: Eight dead as troops surround gunmen

source BBC News India Feb 12, 2017

At least eight people have died in Indian-administered Kashmir during and after a
gun battle between the security forces and militants, officials say.

The violence began when security forces entered a village in the southern Kulgam district overnight on Saturday in pursuit of suspected militants.

The exchange of fire killed two security force members, four suspected militants and a civilian.

Another man died in protests that followed the clash.

The suspected militants had taken refuge in Frisal village when they were surrounded by police and the military, officials say. A 10-hour gunfight then broke out.

Military officials quoted by NDTV said that the gunmen were members of the Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba militant groups who were holding a meeting when they came under attack. Three militants escaped, the officials said.

Kashmiri villagers offer funeral prayers near the bodies of suspect militants during their joint funeral procession near Frisal, 66km (40 miles) south of Srinagar (12 February 2017)
Image copyright AP
Thousands attended the funeral on Sunday of two of the gunmen who were killed in the clashes

Kashmiris watch the joint funeral of two suspected rebels (12 February 2017)
Image copyright AP

Kashmiris watched the funeral processions from the rooftops

Debris of residential house which was destroyed during the gunfight (12 February 2017)Image copyright EPA

The house where the gunman were surrounded was destroyed in the course of the fighting

 

Weapons were recovered from the dead gunmen, the army said. It stated that three soldiers were injured in addition to the two soldiers who were killed.

Officials say the civilian who died was inside the house which came under fire from the security forces.

As news of the clash spread, hundreds of local protesters confronted the security forces. One man died and about 12 were injured when the security forces opened fire on the crowd.

Truce violations

There has been a surge in militant attacks in Jammu and Kashmir in the past year.

In September militants stormed an army base and killed 19 Indian troops – while in November Pakistan said at least nine people were killed when cross-border shelling from the Indian side of the disputed territory hit a passenger bus.

Both countries accuse each other of violating a 2003 truce accord.


Five things to know about Kashmir

  • India and Pakistan have disputed the territory for nearly 70 years – since independence from Britain
  • Both countries claim the whole territory but control only parts of it
  • Since 1989 there has been an armed revolt in the Muslim-majority region against rule by India, which is mostly Hindu
  • Two out of three wars fought between India and Pakistan centred on Kashmir
  • A new war could be even more disastrous as both states now have nuclear arsenals

Kashmir – the region at the heart of dispute

The teenager blinded by pellets in Indian Kashmir

Kashmir map

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