SRINAGAR, India – Eight suspected militants, including the alleged successor of Commander Burhan Wani, have been killed during the last few hours in two clashes with Indian security forces in the northern region of Kashmir, officials told EFE on Saturday.
Director General of Police S.P. Vaid confirmed the deaths of the two insurgents in Pulwama district in a clash he said was still ongoing.
A source from the police control room told EFE that the deceased were Sabzar Ahmad (Wani’s successor) and Faizan Muzaffar, who were trapped in a police cordon on Friday night in the Tral area and died during a shootout that began on Saturday morning.
Sources from the Tral Hospital told EFE they have also received 10 civilians, wounded by pellets allegedly belonging to civilian groups, which had come to the site to protest in support of the insurgents.
In a separate incident on Friday, six insurgents were killed while trying to infiltrate Indian-administered Kashmir from across the Line of Control, the de facto border with Pakistan, in the Rampur sector.
“Six infiltrating terrorists have been killed so far in the ongoing operation,” the Indian Army spokesman, Col. Rajesh Kalia, told EFE.
Rampur is located right next to Uri, where an attack last year killed 19 soldiers and escalated tensions between Pakistan and India.
The death of a young insurgent leader of the separatist group Hizb-ul-Mujahideen in July last year led to massive protests and social instability in Kashmir that continues in the form of demonstrations and violence that has left dozens dead and thousands wounded.
Sitting in the foothills of the Himalayas, Kashmir is the only Muslim-majority region in India.
Pakistan has claimed absolute sovereignty over the region since the partition of the subcontinent in 1947 and its independence from the British Empire.
India and Pakistan have fought several wars and minor conflicts over Kashmir, which is one of the most militarized zones in the world.