On October 12th, Indian government forces reportedly killed five suspected rebels in two clashes in Indian-administered Kashmir.
This took place one day after the rebels reportedly killed five army soldiers in a gunfight in the disputed region.
The first clash erupted following a raid by soldiers and counterinsurgency police in the Imamsahab area of southern Shopian district, police said.
Troops cordoned off the area late on October 11th, and a gun battle broke out when the rebels refused to surrender, police said. Three rebels were killed in the ensuing fight early on October 12th, police said.
In a separate clash, two suspected rebels were killed inside an apple orchard during a security operation in the village of Feeripora, also in Shopian, police said.
On October 11th, five Indian soldiers were killed in the deadliest gun battle with rebels this year in a forested area of southern Surankote district. Lieutenant Colonel Devender Anand, an Indian army spokesperson, said troops continued with search operations in the area.
The uptick in violence comes amid a sweeping crackdown by the government forces in the Kashmir Valley following a string of targeted killings in the region’s main city of Srinagar in the week ending on October 10th.
Police detained more than 700 people for questioning after suspected rebels shot and killed a prominent Kashmiri Hindu chemist, two schoolteachers of the Hindu and Sikh faiths, and a Hindu street food vendor from India’s eastern state of Bihar.
Police in a statement said one of the slain rebels was involved in the killing of the street food vendor.
India and Pakistan claim the divided Himalayan territory of Kashmir in its entirety, but each administers part of it.
Rebels in Indian-administered Kashmir have been fighting New Delhi’s rule since 1989. Most Muslim Kashmiris support the rebel goal of uniting the territory, either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.
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