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50 ppl injured during clashes in IHK

30 May, 2019

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At least 50 people were injured during clashes in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) on Wednesday as protesters helped rebels escape a siege by occupation forces, police and hospital authorities said.

While protests in support of the surrounded rebels have increased on the Indian side of the divided territory in recent years, it is rare for rebels to escape.

Thousands of villagers poured onto roads on Wednesday as two suspected rebels fought a gunbattle with soldiers from inside a house in the Kulgam area in southern Kashmir.

Protesters pelted occupation forces with stones to give the fighters cover to escape. Fifty people were taken to a local hospital after Indian forces fired shotgun pellets and live bullets to push the protesters back, witnesses and hospital officials said.

“The house was blown up but the rebels escaped in the confusion. No dead bodies were found in the debris,” a top police officer told an international news wire on the condition of anonymity. The officer said, however, that only three people were injured, one with a bullet and two with pellets in their eyes. “Scratches cannot be considered injuries,” he said, to explain the discrepancy in numbers. Clashes between rebels fighting Indian rule in Held Kashmir and occupation forces occur almost daily. More than 90 rebels have been killed so far this year. Residents from nearby villages often throng the streets to help rebels by hurling stones at Indian soldiers.

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