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3 militants, including teenager, killed in Kashmir

Militants die in gun battle after Indian forces attack hideout in Mujgund near Srinagar, Kashmir's capital

Zahid Rafiq   | 09.12.2018
3 militants, including teenager, killed in Kashmir File Photo

By Zahid Rafiq

SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir

Three militants, including a 14-year-old, were killed on Sunday after Indian forces attacked a militant hideout in Mujgund near Srinagar, the capital city of Kashmir.

The gun battle started on Saturday evening and lasted for around 18 hours before ending on Sunday.

“The three slain militants belonged to the Lashkar e Toiba [LET] outfit,” the police said in an official statement.

In the statement, the three militants were identified as Mudasir Rashid and Saqib Bilal -- both of them Kashmiris -- and Ali, a Pakistani militant.

Rashid, 14, had recently joined the militant ranks, and last week a picture of him holding a rifle went viral on social media.

According to media reports, on Aug. 31 Rashid went missing from his home, after which police said he had joined the LeT.

According to the police, an Indian soldier was also wounded in the gunfight.

Protests erupted around the site of gunfight, and three civilians were wounded and taken to a local hospital, said police.

As Indian authorities in the region suspended cellphone Internet service, the resistance leadership in the region called for a complete shutdown on Monday, Dec. 10 -- globally celebrated as Human Rights Day.

In a statement, resistance leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Yasin Malik urged the people to observe a complete shutdown on Monday to highlight the human rights violations in Kashmir valley.

Jammu and 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.

Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- two of them over Kashmir.

Also, in the northern Siachen glacier, Indian and Pakistani troops have fought intermittently since 1984. A cease-fire came into effect in 2003.

Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.

According to several human rights groups, thousands of people have been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.

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