Two killed in first Kashmir gun battle since lockdown began

Srinagar: Two people, including a police official and an armed rebel, have been killed in a gun battle in Indian-administered Kashmir, police said.

The clash in Baramulla district on Wednesday was the first to be reported by the authorities since Indiarevoked the autonomy of the Muslim-majority region it administers and imposed a curfew and communications lockdown earlier this month.

A local police officer told Reuters news agency that suspected rebels fired a grenade wounding two policemen, one of whom died later in the hospital.

Meanwhile, Pakistan said three of its civilians died in Indian gunfire from across the Line of Control (LoC), the de facto border dividing the disputed territory.

The Press Trust of India news agency quoted officials as saying one Indian soldier died and four were wounded when Pakistani troops opened fire on forward posts and villages along the LoC in the Poonch district on Tuesday. 

Protests have erupted in Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar in response to the Indian government’s controversial move to abrogate Article 370 of the Indian constitution – which accorded the Jammu and Kashmir state a degree of autonomy.

In the lead-up to the move, India sent thousands of additional troops to the disputed region, imposed a crippling curfew, shut down telecommunications and internet, and arrested political leaders

At least 4,000 people have been detained in Indian-administered Kashmir since August 5, AFP news agency said, citing security and government sources.

Pakistan, which also lays claim to the Kashmir territory in its entirety, said on Tuesday it would challenge India’s move at the International Court of Justice.

AlamulKhabar Pakistan