Kashmir gun battle leaves six rebels and soldier dead

Kashmir gun battle leaves six rebels and soldier dead
2 min read
25 November, 2018
A teenager was shot and killed in protests that erupted after a deadly gun battle between the Indian army and Kashmiri separatist rebels.
A protester was killed when Indian troops fired at the anti-India demonstrators [AFP]

Six rebels and a soldier were killed in a gun-battle in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Sunday, officials said.

The clash sparked violent protests by residents seeking an end to Indian rule over the disputed region, leaving a teenage boy dead and 20 people injured.

Indian army spokesman Col. Rajesh Kalia said Indian troops surrounded a village in the southern Shopian area early on Sunday, leading to an exchange of gunfire.

A teenage boy was later killed and 20 people were injured when troops fired bullets, shotgun pellets and tear gas to confront the stone-throwing protesters, police and residents said.

Kashmir is divided between rivals India and Pakistan, with both states claiming the territory in its entirety.

Most Kashmiris support rebel demands that the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country, while also participating in civilian street protests against Indian control.

In recent years, mainly young Kashmiris have displayed open solidarity with the rebels and sought to protect them by engaging troops in street clashes during military operations.

Rebels have been fighting Indian control since 1989. India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the rebels, a charge Pakistan denies.

Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian military crackdown.