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Separatists-Indian Army soldiers killed in IHK

17 May, 2019

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Five separatists, two Indian Army soldiers and two civilians were killed on Thursday during a gunfight in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) that triggered anti-India protests and clashes, officials and residents said.

The gun battle broke out in a neighbourhood in southern Pulwama town as police and soldiers scoured the area for separatists, said Col Rajesh Kalia, an Indian Army spokesman. He said that as troops began conducting searches, they came under heavy gunfire, leading to a gunfight that killed five separatists and two army soldiers. A civilian was also killed and his brother wounded during the fighting, police said, while another civilian died later. Two soldiers were also injured in the gunfight. Local residents said troops damaged one civilian home with explosives. The fighting sparked protests and clashes as hundreds of residents tried to march to the site of the battle in solidarity with rebels despite security lockdown in the area.

Government forces fired shotgun pellets and tear gas at protesters who threw stones at them. No one was immediately reported injured in the street clashes. Most Kashmiris support the rebels’ demand that the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country, while also participating in civilian street protests against Indian control.

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