SRINAGAR: Clashes between Kashmiris and Indian forces as well as street killings left six more dead in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K) Saturday, officials said, as the disputed Himalayan region battles a worsening wave of violence.
At least 28 people, including nine civilians, have been gunned down in the past two weeks -- the victims of a deadly resurgence in a three-decade-old insurgency in the Muslim-majority region, which is also claimed by Pakistan.
Saturday saw two Kashmiris from The Resistance Front (TRF) matyred outside the main city of Srinagar, according to police Inspector General Vijay Kumar. One of them was top Kashmiri commander Umer Mushtaq Khanday, Kumar added.
Hours later, gunmen shot dead a street vendor and a labourer from outside Kashmir in separate shootings, police said. Two soldiers also died in a "fierce firefight" near the highly militarised ceasefire line, a military statement said. They had been involved in a week-long hunt for rebels that had already seen seven troops killed in the forested border area of Mendhar.
More than 1,000 people have been detained in a crackdown as part of the investigation, a police officer told AFP on Saturday. All Parties Hurriyet Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, who has been under house arrest for more than two years, warned in a statement Saturday that "systemic oppression" was pushing many Kashmir youths into the underground.