SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir
At least three militants were killed in a gunfight with government forces in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday, security forces said.
The militants killed belonged to the Lashkar-e-Tayyiba group, police said, adding that one of the militants was involved in the recent killing of a paramilitary trooper and a civilian in the North Kashmir’s Sopore district.
Police, earlier this month, said they rescued a three-year-old boy and that his grandfather, Bashir Ahmad Khan, was killed when militants opened fire on security forces.
The family, however, disputed the claim, saying government forces had killed the 65-year-old.
Images of the boy squatting over the lifeless body of his grandfather went viral soon after the “encounter.”
Meanwhile, a joint cordon and search operation was launched in the Reban village of the district after a tip-off that militants were hiding in the area.
Despite multiple calls for a cease-fire, violence in the disputed region continues unabated.
Kashmir is held by India and Pakistan in parts but claimed by both in full. A small sliver of the region is also controlled by China.
Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars — in 1948, 1965, and 1971. Two of them have been over Kashmir.
Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against the Indian rule for independence or unification with neighboring Pakistan.
According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have been killed in the conflict since 1989.
On Aug. 5, 2019 the Indian government revoked Article 370 and other related provisions from its Constitution, scrapping the country’s only Muslim-majority state with its autonomy. It was also split into two federally administered territories.
Simultaneously, it locked the region down, detaining thousands of people, imposing movement restrictions and enforcing a communications blackout.
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