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Three Indian police officers killed in disputed Kashmir

23 May 2016 11:29



Three Indian police officers have been killed in two separate shooting attacks by armed men against security personnel in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

A police official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said unidentified men armed with assault rifles and riding motorcycles opened fire at a group of police officers in the Zadibal district of Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar, at around 10:45 a.m. local time (0515 GMT) on Monday, killing two officers on the spot.

Security forces have launched an operation to hunt down the assailants.

Separately, gunmen shot and injured a police constable in the Tengpora district of Srinagar, before escaping with his gun. He later succumbed to his wounds at the hospital.

Pro-independence Hizb-ul-Mujahideen group later claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Kashmir has been the scene of violent clashes in recent years. Indian troops are in constant clashes with militants seeking independence from New Delhi.

Indian government forces have responded by imposing curfews and restrictions on the movement of the people.

Indian paramilitary troopers stand alert on a street of closed shops during a one-day strike in Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir, April 12, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

India has also deployed large contingents of police and paramilitary troops to most parts of Srinagar and several other major towns to prevent street demonstrations.

The Himalayan region lies at the heart of more than 69 years of hostility between India and Pakistan. Both neighbors claim the region in full but have partial control over it. India controls two thirds of Kashmir while the remaining one third is under Pakistani rule.

The neighbors agreed on a ceasefire in 2003, and launched a peace process the following year. Since then, there have been sporadic clashes, with both sides accusing the other of violating the ceasefire.

Thousands of people have been killed in the violence in Kashmir over the past two decades.

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