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Iran Press TV

Troops kill three rebels, teenage boy in Indian-controlled Kashmir

Iran Press TV

Wed Aug 9, 2017 5:37PM

Indian forces have killed three separatist rebels and a teenage boy in the Indian-controlled Kashmir as tensions continue to rock the Muslim-majority Himalayan region.

Inspector general of police Muneer Ahmed Khan said the armed men were killed during an operation around a village near the southern town of Tral on Wednesday. The raid was conducted on a tip that militants were hiding in a house.

"During the patrol three militants were found right outside a house and they were killed in a short and good operation," Khan said, adding, "All the three were locals."

The deaths sparked clashes between government forces and residents of the area, where people threw stones and chanted slogans against the Indian rule.

Police later confirmed that a teenager struck by pellets fired by security forces had died in hospital due to injuries.

Anti-India protests and clashes were also reported in the southern town of Pulwama.

Tensions have escalated across Kashmir in recent days. At least 19 rebels and five civilians have died in gunfight and subsequent anti-India clashes between Kashmiri residents and Indian troops over the past 10 days. Two Indian army soldiers have also been killed in a rebel ambush.

The protests and clashes have persisted despite the Indian army chief warning recently that "tough action" would be taken against stone throwers during counterinsurgency operations.

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 protests 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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