Indian paramilitary soldier arrive near the site of a gunbattle in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir.
Three suspected rebels and a 45-year-old woman were killed Thursday during a gunbattle between government forces and anti-India rebels in the main city in disputed Kashmir, officials said.
The gunfight erupted shortly after scores of counterinsurgency police and soldiers launched an operation based on a tip about the presence of militants in a Srinagar neighborhood, Pankaj Singh, an Indian paramilitary spokesman, said.
Singh said the fighting left three militants dead and a paramilitary officer wounded. No other details were immediately available about the civilian’s killing.
As the fighting raged, many residents marched near the site in solidarity with the rebels and chanted slogans seeking an end to Indian rule over the region. Government forces fired shotgun pellets and tear gas at the stone-throwing protesters.
No casualties were immediately reported in the clashes.
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Both India and Pakistan claim the divided territory of Kashmir in its entirety. Kashmiris support the rebel goal that the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.
Tens of thousands of civilians and rebels s have been killed in the conflict.
New Delhi has been stepping up counter-insurgency efforts in the disputed territory since the nationwide coronavirus lockdown was imposed in late March. The militants were killed in a firefight in the Zoonimar area of the densely populated old city of Srinagar.
Pakistan’s president has called on India to immediately lift all restrictions on people in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, ignoring opposition calls for Prime Minister Imran Khan to step down over his alleged bad governance.
Calling it “the hub of terrorism,’ India has dismissed Pakistan’s attempts to raise the Kashmir issue in the UN General Assembly (UNGA) after it had failed to get a hearing in the Security Council.
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