2 militants, 2 civilians killed in disputed Kashmir
02 Jul 2017 - 10:56
SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir: Two militants and two civilians, including a woman, were killed by Indian armed forces in the south of disputed Kashmir on Saturday.
The police confirmed the killings in the village of Dialgam in the Anantnag district, saying that the two militants had been hiding in the village.
According to locals in Dialgam, the Indian forces laid siege to the village at around 4 in the morning.
“People began to assemble as soon as they heard the Indian forces come into the village and people made announcements from the village mosque asking everyone to come out. Some people threw stones at the Indian forces to repel them and save the militants," Muzamil Ahmad, a college student, told Anadolu Agency.
Ahmad said that the forces later opened fire at civilians, killing a 41-year-old woman named Tahira and a 21-year-old man named Shadab Ahmad.
"At least a dozen boys from our village have bullet injuries,” he added.
Both the civilians, according to hospital records, died from bullet injuries. Shadab had been hit by a bullet in his face.
While the police claim the civilians were killed in crossfire, the villagers say that Indian forces opened fire on them, killing the two civilians.
- Funeral prayers
The house the two militants were holed up in was blasted by the armed forces around noon, killing them and razing the house to the ground. The two were identified as Bashir Ahmad Wani and Aijaz Ahmad Malik, both associated with Lashkar-e-Taiba group.
According to locals in south Kashmir, thousands of people are marching toward the villages of the slain militants to offer funeral prayers.
Police in disputed Kashmir say that the militants were involved in the killing of six policemen last month.
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. Kashmiri resistance groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
More than 70,000 people have reportedly been killed in the conflict since 1989. India maintains more than a half-million troops in the disputed region.