World Bulletin / News Desk
Pro-independence protests erupted across the disputed Kashmir Valley on Saturday after Indian forces shot dead a prominent separatist leader and another rebel in the morning.
Sabzar Ahmad, a member of the separatist rebel group Hizbul Mujahideen was killed in a gunbattle with the Indian forces in Tral area of southern Kashmir, Chief of Indian Police Shesh Paul Vaid confirmed.
Sabzar was a close aide to slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani whose killing on July 8 last year sparked a six-month-long uprising against the Indian rule.
Another militant killed in the gunbattle, Faizan Ahmad, was a recent recruit.
A civilian, Aaqib Ahmad, also lost his life in the crossfire, security officials confirmed.
The gunbattle began on Friday night in Saimu village which was later cordoned off by the troops, Indian forces said.
- Schools, colleges shut down
Schools and colleges were shut down by the government as news of the killings spread, to stop students from carrying out demonstrations and clashing with the Indian forces.
Clashes, however, continued across the valley, causing a government clampdown on Internet services in the region once again. Seven protesters were injured and hospitalized.
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.
The two countries have fought three wars – in 1948, 1965 and 1971 – since they were partitioned in 1947, two over Kashmir.
Kashmiri resistance groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
More than 70,000 people have reportedly been killed in the conflict since 1989. India maintains more than half a million troops in the disputed region.
Last Mod: 27 Mayıs 2017, 16:22