India imposes curfew after clashes leave 20 dead in Kashmir

Another encounter broke out in Dragad area of Shopian as militants fired upon a search party of security forces

Three simultaneous counter-terror operations in Shopian and Anantnag districts of Jammu and Kashmir, in southern parts of the volatile region, which were launched late Saturday and continue, have killed 13 suspected militants.

Despite the suspension of classes, anti-India protests erupted at the University of Kashmir, where many students gathered in the main campus in Srinagar and shouted slogans such as "Go India, go back" and demanded an end of Indian rule over the region. They also said one of the civilians who died in southern Shopian near a gunbattle on Sunday was being used as a human shield against rebels by the Indian army.

Ultimately, Indian Lt. Gen. A.K. Bhatt told The New York Times the operation was a success: "It is a special day for our forces", he said.

Over 100 people were injured in the clashes.

According to a Kashmir Media Service report, search operations were conducted in Islamabad and Shopian districts of South Kashmir.

As the valley braced for more violence, Islamabad said yesterday that the mindless killing spree in the Indian-held Kashmir has exposed the ugly and inhuman face of New Delhi.

They said that after the government forces came under fire, the militants tried to escape from a security cordon while firing their guns and grenades but were killed in the ensuing fighting. Train services between north Kashmir's Baramulla town and Bannihal town have been suspended.

Four of the five terrorists killed in the encounter at Kachdoora were from various villages of Shopian and one was from Kulgam.




Pakistan, it said, expresses its full solidarity with Kashmiris and "we urge global community to take cognisance of the gross and systematic violations of fundamental human rights".

Doctors said Monday the extent of pellet gun injuries was the worst they had seen since hundreds were wounded in unrest that followed the shooting death of charismatic rebel commander Burhan Wani in July 2016.

No rebel group fighting against Indian rule immediately issued any statement about Sunday's fighting.

To thwart protests, authorities had put parts of Srinagar, including the Old City and Maisuma, under strict restrictions.

But The Associated Press, citing local residents, reports that Indian troops also live ammunition on some groups of civilian protesters.

Most Kashmiris support the rebels' cause against Indian rule while also participating in civilian street protests against Indian control.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since their partition and independence from Britain in 1947.

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