Asia Pacific

Indian Police Say Seven Suspected Kashmir Rebels Killed

Seven suspected rebels were killed in Indian-administered Kashmir in clashes with soldiers in separate battles in the past two days, police said Friday.

Shooting broke out on Thursday when Indian soldiers launched a search for reported militants in the southern Kulgam area, with five men killed on Friday, police said.

In a separate clash, Indian security forces killed two militants near the heavily militarized dividing line with Pakistan.

Rebel groups have waged an insurgency since 1989, demanding independence or a merger of the Himalayan territory with Pakistan. The conflict has left tens of thousands of civilians, soldiers, and militants dead.

India blames Pakistan for supporting the militants. Islamabad denies the charge, saying it only backs a Kashmiri struggle for the right to self-determination.

The Indian-controlled part of the territory has simmered in anger since Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s government annulled its limited constitutional autonomy in 2019 and imposed direct rule.

The Indian authorities say at least 114 people have been killed in the conflict this year, including 11 civilians, 23 security forces, and 80 suspected rebels.

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