India’s Prime Minister and Pakistani President held talks, after a one year gap, to sort out differences and find a lasting solution to the troubled Indian state of Kashmir.
Ten persons including one Indian Army personnel were killed in different gunbattles that took place in the Kashmir valley in the past twenty four hours.
According to the Indian Army, the financial controller of the Lashker-e-Toiba separatist group was killed in a gunbattle with the Indian Army at Nadimarg in south Kashmir on Saturday.
“Troops of 9 RR launched a search operation at Nadimarg forest. When the troops were moving towards the militant hideout, they were attacked with automatic weapons and hand grenades. The troops retaliated, and in the two-hour-long fierce gun battle the LeT commander Abu Saad was killed,” said an army official.
According to the police handout, two separatists of Hizbul Mujahideen were killed and two Special Police Officers (SPOs) of the State Police were injured in a fierce encounter at Pulwama in South Kashmir on Saturday. The reports said the killed militants were set up in a specially designed hideout, which was built under the bathroom of a house. In the same area, two more militants from the same outfit, one identified as Moutasim Billa alias Abu Tallah, were killed in a different gunbattle with the troops at Narwani, Zainapora, an area in South Kashmir.
Militants exploded an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) targeting a military vehicle which was on a routine patrol in the south Kashmir area on Saturday. A soldier was killed and two civilians were injured in the blast.
Three militants were also killed in an encounter with the troops at Gurwattan-Sirpatheri, Noorbad forest area in south Kashmir. Local news agency of Kashmir said that two unidentified militants were killed and a soldier was injured in gun-battles at different places.
In the last 17 years of turmoil, more than 68,000 people have been killed in Kashmir where militants are fighting against Indian rule and demanding the region’s independence or its merger with neighboring Pakistan.
Suhail A. Wani writes about Kashmir and can be reached at [email protected]