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3 militants killed in Kashmir gunfight: Police

23 militants killed in region since beginning of 2020, police chief says

Nusrat Sidiq   | 19.02.2020
3 militants killed in Kashmir gunfight: Police

SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir

Indian forces have killed three militants in Kashmir’s southern district of Pulwama, the police chief in the region said on Wednesday.

“On a credible input, a cordon & search operation was launched jointly by police, CRPF [Central Reserve Police Force] & Army in Sherabad area of Tral in Awantipora. During the search operation, the hiding terrorists opened fire. The fire was retaliated leading to an encounter,” Dilbag Singh said.

Terming the encounter as one of the successful operations, Singh said Jahangir Ahmad Wani, one of the slain militants, had a “terror crime records since 2018” and was operating as commander of proscribed militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen in the area.

“He was involved in planning and executing several terror attacks in the area,” the police chief said.

Giving details about anti-militancy operations in the valley, Vijay Kumar, inspector general of police (Kashmir Zone), said a total of 23 militants have been killed in 10 anti-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir since the start of the current year.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Civil Society (JKCCS), a human rights group operating in the region, has compiled 35 killings -- including that of five civilians, 19 militants and 11 armed forces -- since beginning of 2020, according to one of the group’s members.

To a question about upcoming U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to India next week and fears of possible militant activities, the police chief said: “There are some apprehensions, like always. Militants are still present in good numbers, [but] we hope the visit passes off peacefully, we have security arrangements in place.”

Kashmir 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.

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

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

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