Fresh anti-India protests in Kashmir as troops kill 6 rebels
A gunbattle between Indian troops and Kashmiri rebels early Saturday left six militants dead and triggered a new round of anti-India protests in the disputed Himalayan region.
The fighting began after government forces came under fire during a raid on a militant hideout in the southern Tral area, according to police. Troops retaliated and six militants were killed in the brief exchange of fire, police said.
As the news of the killings spread, hundreds of civilians took to the streets in Tral town, clashing with government forces at several places. No injuries were immediately reported.
In a separate incident, India’s army accused rival Pakistan of opening fire in the Keran sector of Kashmir and killing two Indian army officers on Friday.
The Indian army called the firing a violation of the 2003 cease-fire accord between the nuclear-armed rivals, who both claim the divided territory of Kashmir in its entirety.
Pakistan did not comment on the Indian allegations. In the past, each country has accused the other of initiating the firing and violating the cease-fire agreement.
Rebels have been fighting Indian control since 1989. Most Kashmiris support the rebel cause that the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.
India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the rebels, a charge Pakistan denies. Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian military crackdown.