5 killed in Kashmir gun battle

Indian troops and separatist militants have clashed in Indian-controlled Kashmir, killing 5 individuals together with a civilian, officers say.

Stress in Muslim-majority Kashmir has been excessive since a February 14 suicide bomb assault by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant group killed at the least 40 Indian paramilitary police.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave troops a “free hand” to answer the assault, and near-daily searches in villages in Kashmir since then have typically triggered violent confrontations, with civilians caught in crossfire.

Modi’s powerful response to the assault, which included an air strike in opposition to what India mentioned was a militant camp in Pakistan, is believed to have given his celebration a lift in a basic election that ends on Could 19.

Three JeM militants, together with a Pakistani commander, and an Indian soldier have been killed within the gun battle in Dalipora, a village in south Kashmir, police mentioned.

Villagers mentioned a civilian, who they recognized as Rayees Ahmad Dar, 32, was additionally killed after Indian troopers had despatched him to look a home the place militants have been believed to be hiding. Villagers within the space have complained earlier than in regards to the military utilizing civilians as human shields in searches.

A police spokesman mentioned Dar had been killed in indiscriminate firing by the militants, and denied he had been despatched on a search.

Additionally on Thursday, police mentioned seven individuals had been arrested and a curfew imposed on a city within the area after a Muslim man transporting horses was shot lifeless, allegedly by a Hindu group wanting to guard the rights of cows, an animal thought of sacred of their faith.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since their independence, two of them over the Himalayan area, and got here shut to a different in February.

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