SRINAGAR: Two Kashmiri fighters were killed in armed clashes on Thursday, officials said, in another day of bloodshed in Kashmir where tensions are high following the death of a prominent Kashmiri leader.
The fighters were killed in Kulgam, south of the main city of Srinagar in Indian-occupied Kashmir, when they walked into an ambush laid by Indian soldiers. “It was a deliberate and swift operation,” an Indian army officer said. In a separate incident, two Indian troops were killed and another injured in a shootout with fighters in Shopian district, the officer said on condition of anonymity. The soldiers came under fire as they surrounded a house suspected of harbouring the fighters, and were evacuated from the scene. It was not clear if the fighters inside evaded capture. “Three soldiers were evacuated by air but two of them died before reaching a military hospital,” a police officer said.
The violence comes just days after Indian forces killed top commander Abu Dujana, who headed the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group in Kashmir.
His death sparked protests and violent clashes across Kashmir, in which two civilians, including a teenage student, were killed.
Schools and colleges remained shut Thursday amid fears of further protests against Indian occupation.
Kashmir has been disputed between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. Both claim the restive region in full.
For decades, Kashmiri groups have fought 500,000 Indian soldiers deployed in the territory, demanding merger of the former Himalayan kingdom with Pakistan.
Published in Daily Times, August 4th 2017.