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World

AFP
April 5, 2020

Nine Kashmiris martyred as India imposes virus lockdown in occupied territory

World

AFP
Sun, Apr 05, 2020
An Indian police officer hits Kashmiri people in Srinagar, Kashmir. AFP/Habib Naqash/Files

SRINAGAR: Indian Army martyred at least nine Kashmiris in two separate incidents in occupied Kashmir, authorities said Sunday, as a lockdown to prevent the coronavirus from spreading came into effect. Three Indian soldiers were also killed.

Indian army spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia early Sunday confirmed the martyrdom of five Kashmiris in the northern Keran area close to the Line of Control (LoC). Several soldiers were critically injured, he added.

"The youth were killed during a continued violent operation in Keran area of Kupwara district," reported Kashmir Media Service.

The fighting came within 24 hours of another operation that had left four dead. Police had said all four were area residents.

India unilaterally revoked the region's constitutional autonomy in August last year and announced it is splitting it into two government territories: Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Since then, the region  has been under a strict lockdown and communications blackout, with a limited restoration of mobile data and internet services reported in January.

Several local leaders have also been imprisoned or put under house arrest.