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Six ppl died in IHK by Indian forces

23 March, 2019

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A 12-year-old boy was among six people killed in three separate gun battles between freedom fighters and security forces in Indian-held Kashmir, the police and army said Friday. Clashes have raged in the restive mountainous region since the deaths of 40 Indian troops in a suicide bombing last month provoked tit-for-tat air strikes between India and Pakistan. The boy was killed after the fighters were trapped in his home in the northern town of Hajin and engaged in a two-day gun battle ending Friday, police said. His father escaped. Police later claimed the boy was ‘kept hostage’ by the fighters. “Despite repeated requests by community members and police for his release, he was brutally killed by them,” a police statement said. Two more were ‘eliminated’ late Thursday in the frontier district of Baramulla, army spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said, while one soldier and two policemen were injured. Another fighter died in a clash with soldiers in the south of the Kashmir valley, Kalia added.

At least a dozen villagers were wounded when government forces clashed with protestors near the site of the fighting, firing metal pellets and live bullets to push them back.

Three of the villagers were taken to hospital in Srinagar and were in critical condition, a local police officer and hospital sources said. Entire neighbourhoods in Kashmir often march towards sites of gun battles between freedom fighters and government forces, attempting to rescue them. Scores of civilians have died during such clashes. India has about 500,000 soldiers in the part it occupuied, where freedom fighters are fighting for independence or a merger with Pakistan. The death in police custody Tuesday of teacher Rizwan Asad Pandit – one of around 1,000 people detained in recent weeks – has further enraged the locals. Pandit’s family claimed the young man was tortured, saying his bones and even his spine were broken and that his body bore cuts and clear signs of torture.

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