2 militants, civilian killed in Indian-controlled Kashmir gunfight, clashes

Li Jiayao

by Peerzada Arshad Hamid

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Two militants and a civilian were killed Tuesday in a fierce gunfight and ensuing clashes in restive Indian-controlled Kashmir, police said.

The gunfight broke out at village Kundalan in Shopian district, about 60 km south of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.

"Two militants were killed today in a gunfight in Shopian village and of them one was a local and another foreigner," a senior police official told Xinhua. "A trooper was also wounded while fighting these militants."

According to police the gunfight erupted during morning hours after joint contingents of police and Indian army cordoned off the village on specific intelligence inputs suggesting presence of militants.

"No sooner we reached close to the suspected house, the militants holed up inside the house fired upon our positions thereby triggering a gunfight," the police official said.

"As the gunfight was going on local residents took to roads and clashed with government forces by throwing rocks and brickbats on them in a bid to help militants escape."

Police fired dozens of tear smoke shells, warning shots and used pellets to chase the protesters. A local youth was killed after being hit by a bullet.

Concerned over the civilian killings, separatist leaders have called for complete shutdown on Wednesday in the region in protest.

On Saturday three civilians, including a teenage girl, were killed after Indian army fired upon protesters in the region.

A separatist movement and guerrilla war challenging New Delhi's rule is going on in Indian-controlled Kashmir since 1989. Gunfight between the two sides takes place intermittently across the region.

Kashmir, the Himalayan region divided between India and Pakistan, is claimed by both in full. Since their independence from Britain, the two countries have fought three wars, two exclusively over Kashmir.



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