Gun battles leave 12 dead in Occupied Kashmir
SRINAGAR: Three Indian soldiers were killed while nine freedom fighters were martyred in two separate incidents in Indian Occupied Kashmir, officials said on Sunday.
Occupied Kashmir had already been under a long-running curfew as New Delhi scrapped the disputed region’s semi-autonomous status on August 5.
Indian army spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia claimed to have killed five armed insurgents early Sunday in Keran area close to the Line of Control (LoC).
The clashes also left three soldiers dead and critically injured several more, he said in a brief statement.
The fighting came within 24 hours of another gun battle between freedom fighters and occupied forces in Kulgam area that left four dead.
In February, two freedom fighters and an Indian soldier were killed in an alleged shootout on the outskirts of Srinagar.
The alleged gunfight occurred on the day when Pakistan and Kashmiris worldwide were observing Kashmir Solidarity Day, marked on February 5 every year, to extend moral support to people in the disputed region.
This year, the day was being observed in the backdrop of India’s controversial decision to revoke the disputed state’s autonomy.
On Aug. 5, 2019, the Modi government scrapped special provisions in the constitution, downgrading the status of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir into two centrally administered Union Territories (UT), thus putting the two territories under its direct rule. – AFP