8 suspected insurgents shot dead, India says

Indian Army soldiers stand guard as a family walks through Gadole forest in Kokernag in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on September 16, 2023. – / AFP

Indian authorities say at least 114 people have died in the conflict this year

Eight suspected separatist fighters were killed in clashes in two regions of Indian-administered Kashmir, police announced on Friday. Five people were killed on Friday in an exchange of fire in the Kulgam sector, south of Srinagar, as part of a search operation launched a day earlier by the Indian army.

Two other suspected insurgents were killed on Thursday in separate fighting near the Line of Control that divides Kashmir into two parts. A third person was shot dead in the mountainous region of Rajouri during a firefight with soldiers on Friday, police said, adding that “very wide» weapons cache has been discovered.

114 people have died in the conflict this year

This Himalayan region, whose majority population is Muslim, is divided between India and Pakistan, which since their independence in 1947 have claimed sovereignty over the entire territory. The two countries have fought three wars for control of the region and since 1989 an armed insurgency in the Indian-administered region has caused tens of thousands of deaths.

New Delhi accused Islamabad of encouraging the attack, but Pakistan denied this. Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government revoked the state of Jammu and Kashmir’s partial autonomy status in 2019 and placed it under direct rule. According to Indian authorities, at least 114 people have been killed in this year’s conflict: 11 civilians, 23 members of the security forces and 80 suspected rebels.

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