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Iran Press TV

Suspected militants kill three soldiers in Indian Kashmir

Iran Press TV

Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:5AM

At least three Indian soldiers have been killed in a suspected militant attack on a military airbase in Indian-controlled Kashmir, a military official says.

Indian army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Rajesh Kalia said the incident occurred in Kupwara district near the de facto border dividing the disputed region of Kashmir between India and Pakistan early on Thursday. He added that two attackers were also killed in the pre-dawn assault after Indian troops returned fire.

The army spokesman said that search operations were underway to see if more attackers were hiding in the restive region.

Indian authorities had a day earlier ordered internet service providers across Kashmir to block 22 social media networks for a one-month period after several videos and photos purportedly showing brutal abuses by Indian security forces sparked outrage among Kashmiris and fueled massive new protests.

A video on social media showed a young Kashmiri man tied to the front of an Indian army jeep to deter protesters from throwing stones at the vehicle. In another video, Indian security forces purportedly torture a Kashmiri youth.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan but claimed in full by both since the two partitioned and gained independence from Britain in 1947. The two countries have fought two major wars over the disputed territory.

The Muslim-majority region has witnessed an increase in mass protests and violent attacks since early July 2016, when Burhan Wani, a top figure in a pro-independence group, was killed in a shootout with Indian troops.

More than 90 people have lost their lives and more than 12,000 have been injured in the ensuing crackdown.

In the latest surge of violence in Kashmir, at least eight people were killed on April 9, when Indian paramilitary forces clashed with protesters during a by-election in Srinagar.

Pro-independence factions in Kashmir had called for a boycott of the vote, resulting in heightened security and a low voter turnout when the polling began.

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