78 militants killed in gunfights across Indian-controlled Kashmir so far this year

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SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, July 16 (Xinhua) — Since the beginning of this year, 78 militants have been killed in gunfights with Indian government forces across the restive Indian-controlled Kashmir, Indian police said Friday.

Two militants were killed on Friday morning in a fierce gunfight in Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.

On Wednesday, three militants, including a commander, were killed in a similar gunfight in the adjacent Pulwama district.

Following the outbreak of COVID-19 last year, a new trend of denying militant bodies to their families has started in the region. Instead of handing over the bodies to their respective families for burial, police take them to remote areas and bury them discreetly. Previously such places were restricted for the burial of unidentified militants.

Militant funerals used to attract huge crowds and trigger massive anti-India protests.

A surge in militant attacks and targeted killings in the region was witnessed last month.

A guerilla war is going on between militants and Indian troops stationed in the region since 1989.

The militants often target Indian government force personnel either with grenade attacks or resort to firing. The gunfight between the two sides takes place intermittently across the region.

Kashmir, the Himalayan region divided between India and Pakistan, is claimed by both in full. Since their independence from Britain, the two countries have fought three wars, two exclusively over Kashmir. Enditem

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