12-hour gun battle by Indian government forces in the capital of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) on Tuesday leaves Two Kashmiri fighters, including a key leader dead.
Paramilitary troops and police exchanged fire with Kashmiri fighters after cordoning off part of the area. Five homes were reduced to rubble during the battle and 10 others were severely damaged, residents told AFP.
A commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, Junaid Ahmed Sehrai and the son of a top separatist leader, was killed in the clash, police said in a statement.
Another Hizbul Mujahideen member was also killed and four Indian police officers were wounded, the statement said.
Most mobile voice and internet services were cut across the city as the fighting kicked off and have yet to be restored.
Residents flocked to the streets as news of the killings spread to throw stones at the Indian forces, who fired tear gas and shotgun bullets to disperse them. No injuries were reported.
The deaths came two weeks after Hizbul Moudjahidin chief Riyaz Naikoo and a family member were killed by government forces in a two-day gun battle. Counter-insurgency operations in IoK were intensified during the coronavirus lockdown, while fighters continued to attack government forces.
Unlike in the past, authorities are now burying killed fighters away from their homes in sparsely populated border areas to prevent a large funeral. Police said 73 fighters had been killed in occupied Kashmir this year, many during the Ramazan.
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