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Eight people killed in IHK

13 February, 2017

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SRINAGAR: Eight people were killed in Indian-held Kashmir on Sunday after a gunfight broke out between freedom fighters and the Indian troops, officials reported. Freedom fighters were present in a south Kashmir village when the military and police surrounded it and a firefight broke out.

"Four terrorists were killed and four weapons were recovered from the encounter site," army spokesman in Srinagar, Col Manish said.

"Two soldiers were also martyred and three injured during the encounter."

Two civilians, including the son of the owner of the house in which the freedom fighters were hiding, also died, police said.

Clashes occurred between government forces and protesters in the aftermath of the battle and at least 25 people were injured, including 12 with bullet injuries, authorities said.

Three freedom fighters managed to escape, and a heavy police contingent has been deployed in the area "to maintain law and order", police added.

Several groups have for decades fought tens of thousands of Indian troops deployed in the region, demanding independence or a merger of the territory with Pakistan. The fighting has left tens of thousands - mostly civilians - dead.

Separately, the All Parties Hurriyet Conference (APHC) has thanked the Kashmiris for making the three-day protest programme given by joint resistance leadership a success.

An APHC spokesman reiterated the demand for the return of the remains of Maqbool Butt and Afzal Guru to Kashmir. It termed public response a referendum in support of Kashmir's freedom from Indian occupation. A complete shutdown was also a clear message to Indian rulers and the global community that Kashmiris had never legitimised Indian military rule and would fight till the end to be rid of it, the press release stated.

Condemning the arrest of its senior leaders including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Yasin Malik, Ashraf Sehrai, Shabbir Shah, Qazi Yasir, Nayem Khan, Ayaz Akbar, Raja Merajuddin, Yassin Ataie, Ashraf Laya, and Imtiyaz Hyder, the spokesman condemned these arbitrary arrests as unjustified and unlawful.

He affirmed, "By calling a three-day programme we want to send a message to the world; that the mortal remains of these two leaders be returned to their families for their burial as per their religious rituals."

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