Fighters killed in Kashmir clashes

Separate clashes in Indian Kashmir killed three suspected Muslim fighters and a policeman on Monday.

    Fighting in Kashmir has claimed 66,000 lives since 1989

    Ashiq Hussain, a police officer, said security forces fought suspected Muslim fighters, killing two of them in Laddu, a village 95km south of Srinagar, the summer capital of India's Jammu-Kashmir state.

    Hussain said the slain fighters belonged to the largest Kashmiri separatist group, Hizb-ul-Mujahidin. There was no independent confirmation of his claim.

    Meanwhile in a nearby village, unidentified armed men abducted a policeman from his home early on Monday and later killed him in a rice field, Hussain said. Police blamed Muslim fighters.

    Also on Monday, police said they killed another suspected Hizb-ul-Mujahidin fighter in a gunfight in Chandyari, a village nearly 300km southwest of Srinagar.

    On Sunday, three suspected separatists were arrested during a raid in Pulwama, 50km south of Srinagar.

    Several pistols, grenades and 2kg of explosives were recovered from the separatistl hideout, the statement said.

    More than a dozen Muslim separatistl groups have been fighting government forces for Kashmir's independence from India or against its merger with Pakistan since 1989. The insurgency has claimed more than 66,000 lives.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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