Curfew, clashes after Indian troops kill Kashmiri rebels

Dhaka,  Tue,  25 July 2017
Published : 12 Jul 2017, 21:32:28
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Curfew, clashes after Indian troops kill Kashmiri rebels

SRINAGAR, July 12 (AP): Anti-India protests and clashes erupted in the main city in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Wednesday after three men police identified as rebels were killed in a gunbattle with government forces.

The fighting began overnight after Indian troops raided western Radbugh village following a tip that militants were hiding there, said police Inspector-General Muneer Ahmed Khan.

He said the gunfight lasted the whole night and the three rebels were killed early Wednesday.

Authorities imposed a curfew in downtown Srinagar, anticipating protests and clashes opposing Indian rule because two of the dead men were natives of the city.

As news of the killings spread, residents defied the restrictions and threw rocks at police and paramilitary soldiers while chanting pro-rebel slogans against Indian rule in the disputed Himalayan region.

The troops fired tear gas to quell the protests and brought more reinforcements to impose a security lockdown in the city's downtown.

Many traders shuttered their shops and businesses in non-curfew areas of the city in solidarity with the rebels.

Hundreds participated in the funeral of one of the slain militants in Srinagar while chanting pro-freedom slogans. A group of young men briefly clashed with soldiers after the rebel's burial.

No one was reported injured.

Nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan each administer part of Kashmir, but both claim the Himalayan territory in its entirety. Rebel groups have been fighting since 1989 for the Indian-administered portion of Kashmir to become independent or merge with Pakistan. Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the fighting and the ensuing Indian crackdown.

Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Kashmir's mostly Muslim population and most people support the rebels' cause against Indian rule despite a decades-long military crackdown to fight the armed rebellion.
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