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Sunday November 28, 2021

Two Indian soldiers killed as Kashmir tensions escalate

By AFP
October 16, 2021
Two Indian soldiers killed as Kashmir tensions escalate

SRINAGAR: Suspected militants killed an Indian Army officer and a trooper during a manhunt in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, where 22 people have died in spiralling violence in the past two weeks, officials said on Friday.

The soldiers were chasing militants in a forested area in southern Kashmir when a gunbattle erupted on late Thursday, Colonel Devendar Anand told AFP. The hunt in the Mendhar region had been intensified since five soldiers were killed nearby three days earlier.

Violence in the Muslim-majority territory, also claimed by Pakistan, has escalated since last week, when armed militants staged attacks that left seven civilians dead, including three from the minority Hindu and Sikh communities.

Some members of the minority communities have since left the restive Kashmir valley fearing they will be targeted, media reported, echoing scenes during another surge in violence in the 1990s when thousands of Hindus fled the region.

Eight suspected militants have also been killed in battles and military raids in the past two weeks, the police said. More than 120 have been killed this year.