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Iran Press TV

Indian troops kill three Kashmiri militants in gunbattle

Iran Press TV

Sat Aug 5, 2017 9:19AM

At least three militants have been killed in a gunfight with Indian forces in the disputed Himalayan region, triggering new protests against the Indian rule.

India's Police Inspector-General Muneer Ahmed Khan announced on Saturday that the gun battle broke out after government troops raided a cluster of homes in the northwestern Sopore district, acting on a tip that the militants were hiding in the area, AP reported.

According to Khan, one police official was wounded after the militants returned fire.

A new wave of protest rallies and clashes with police forces erupted in several parts of the region as the news of the killings by Indian soldiers spread.

The government troops began targeting rock-throwing protesters in the Bandipora neighborhood with live fire, leaving at least three civilians wounded.

The latest fighting came two days after Indian officials reported the killing of two government soldiers as well as two Kashmiri militants in armed clashes across the India-controlled Himalayan valley.

The restive region has witnessed a major escalation in mass protests and violence since early July 2016 when Burhan Wani, a top figure in a pro-independence group, was killed in a shootout with Indian troops.

Over 100 people have been killed and more than 12,000 others injured in the ensuing crackdown.

New Delhi has deployed nearly 500,000 soldiers to the disputed region to suppress pro-independence protest rallies in its part of Kashmir, where about 70,000 people have been killed since 1989.

India and Pakistan claim Kashmir in entirety and have fought three wars over the region. India accuses Pakistan of funding and training militants in Kashmir, a charge that Islamabad has persistently rejected.

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