Indian troops say two suspected militants killed in Kashmir

June 25, 2017 10:30 pm

Indian paramilitary troops stand guard near the scene of a gun battle between Indian government forces and suspected militants at Panthachowk on the outskirts of Srinagar, Kashmir, June 25, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

New Delhi forces have killed at least two suspected militants during a fierce gun battle in Indian-controlled Kashmir amid rising tensions in the disputed Himalayan region.
Police said the militants were killed following an intense gunfight with Indian forces at a school on the outskirts of the region’s main city of Srinagar. 
“The gun battle is over. Two militants have been killed,” media outlets quoted director general of police S.P. Vaid as saying.
Neither of the dead men were locals and police only knew their code names, the police official added.
Militants ambushed a paramilitary police patrol on Saturday evening, killing one trooper and injuring two others in a hail of bullets, before fleeing into the nearby school.
Indian soldiers had surrounded the school as the militants continued firing on them.
Kashmir has experienced an increase in violence over the past few weeks.
According to the Press Trust of agency, the New Delhi government last week deployed two additional army battalions to troubled regions in southern Kashmir.
The Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, which monitors conflict-related deaths, said at least 51 people had been killed in the restive Muslim-majority region over the past month.
Rights groups say 197 people have been killed so far this year in Kashmir.
People in the Muslim-majority Kashmir hold regular protests against Indian rule, demanding autonomy from New Delhi.

Indian army personnel arrive at the site of an attack by suspected rebels on a paramilitary vehicle at Pantha Chowk on the outskirts of Srinagar, Kashmir, June 24, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

India regularly accuses Pakistan of arming and training militants and allowing them across the restive frontier in an attempt to launch attacks on Indian forces. Pakistan strongly denies the allegation.
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan but claimed in full by both since the two were partitioned and gained independence from Britain in 1947. The two countries have fought three wars over the disputed territory. Despite a ceasefire agreement that was reached in November 2003, sporadic skirmishes continue in Kashmir.
New Delhi has deployed some 500,000 soldiers to the disputed region to further boost the security of the borderline and enforce a crackdown on pro-independence demonstrations in its share of Kashmir, where anti-India sentiments are high.
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