Indian troops have killed a suspected rebel during a gun battle in Indian-administered Kashmir, officials said, as violence escalates in the territory at the heart of decades of tensions with neighbouring Pakistan.
Fighting between Indian security forces and rebels broke out in the early hours of Tuesday in the Surankote area of Jammu region’s Poonch district, where a small group of armed fighters are believed to be holed up, a police official said.
“We have shot one militant,” another security official said. Both declined to be named because they were not authorised to speak to the media.
The military lost nine soldiers in the same area earlier this year.
In Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar, a policeman who was on a bus that was attacked by rebels on Monday, succumbed to his injuries, taking the number of deaths in the incident to three, a local police official said.
The rebels had opened fire on the bus on the outskirts of Srinagar, wounding 16 personnel who had all been taken to hospital.
Vijay Kumar, the region’s police chief, said Monday’s attack had been carried out by rebels from the Jaish-e-Muhammad, a Pakistan-based group.
India has long accused Pakistan of supporting an armed rebellion in Kashmir, a Himalayan region that both countries claim in full but control only parts of.
Pakistan denies the charge, saying it provides moral and diplomatic backing for the self-determination of Kashmiri people.