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10 ppl killed in IHK

17 June, 2017

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SRINAGAR: Separate clashes in India-held Kashmir killed 10 people — five police officers, a soldier, two civilians and two suspected militants — authorities said on Friday, as violence in the troubled region spikes.

Suspected militants ambushed a police patrol in the town of Achhabal, killing five police personnel, a top police officer said.

Militants fighting to end Indian rule of Kashmir have stepped up attacks in recent weeks on government forces patrolling the area as counter-insurgency operations intensify.

Earlier, soldiers and a police special counter-insurgency force cordoned off Arwani village on a tip-off that militants were hiding in two homes, triggering a firefight, the officer said.

Two civilians, including a teenage boy, were killed when security forces fired at hundreds of villagers who marched to the site of the shootout to help the militants escape, he added.

Two suspected militants were also killed in the shootout, the officer said.

The unrest spread to neighbouring villages as thousands of residents clashed with government forces, hurling stones and chanting: “We want freedom” and “Go India, go back”.

Separately on Friday, an Indian soldier was killed at a post in southern Naushera when Indian and Pakistani troops traded heavy fire at the Line of Control (LoC).

The two armies have traded fire along the LoC almost daily in recent weeks, killing civilians and soldiers on both sides while accusing each other of breaching a 2003 ceasefire agreement.

Officials say dozens of youth have joined the freedom fighters since last July after a popular freedom leader was killed by security forces, sparking months of wide-scale protests in the territory.

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