India: Military Kills Three Suspected Kashmiri Insurgents

By Amin Ahmad
150601-IN-kashmir-620 Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front activists shout slogans during a protest in Srinagar, May 29, 2015.

Security forces in Kashmir on Monday ended a manhunt for two suspects on the run, a day after Indian forces killed three militants during a gun battle near the Line of Control (LoC).

The three insurgents were killed Sunday after rebel forces tried to storm an Indian military camp near the LoC, a boundary that demarcates the de facto border between the Indian and Pakistani-controlled parts of Kashmir.

Sunday morning’s shootout took place in Tanghdar, a town in Kupwara district located at least 140 km (87 miles) from Srinagar.

According to reports, a civilian was also killed in crossfire during the gun battle, which lasted at least two hours.

The shooting reached a climax after three to five militants, armed with automatic weapons, holed themselves up inside two homes in Bahkayan village, a police official said.

“The group of militants, which had infiltrated Indian territory early Sunday morning, was trapped in two houses in the village. Three militants, whose identity could not be ascertained, were gunned down in the operation,” Kupwara Senior Supt. of Police Rahul Kumar told BenarNews on Monday.

Two of the suspects escaped and security forces searched for them until Monday afternoon, when the manhunt was called off.

“Once civilian, an old man, was also killed in the crossfire,” Army Col. Brijesh Pandey said, according to Agence France-Presse.

Sunday’s firefight was the second deadly one between the Indian army and insurgents near the LoC since May 25, when three soldiers and a militant were reported killed in fighting in that area.

The latest incident also took place amid reports that Kashmiri militants were targeting cellular facilities in attacks and threatening people who allowed mobile phone companies to install cell tower on their property.

On Monday, a man in Srinagar was injured when unidentified gunmen hurled a grenade at a mobile communications tower in downtown Srinagar, according to Greater Kashmir, a local news outlet.

Last week, five people were injured, including two fatally, in a spate of attacks on cellular installations in North Kashmir.

Since 1947, India and neighboring nuclear rival Pakistan have made territorial claims over predominantly Muslim Kashmir, and fought two wars over it. An insurgency has gripped the Indian side of Kashmir since the 1990s.


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