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Protests erupt as Indian forces kill top Kashmir commander

  • Published at 06:05 pm August 1st, 2017
  • Last updated at 01:12 am August 2nd, 2017
Protests erupt as Indian forces kill top Kashmir commander
Indian forces killed a top militant commander in Kashmir on Tuesday, triggering clashes in which one protester was killed and prompting the authorities to suspend internet and train services. Abu Dujana, of the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group, was gunned down with an accomplice in Pulwama district to the south of the region’s summer capital Srinagar, police spokesman Manoj Pandita said. Acting on a tipoff, police launched a search in the village of Hadripora in the early hours and killed the two in a fierce encounter, Pandita said. Dujana was implicated in several militant attacks in South Kashmir and had a cash reward of Rs1.5 million on his head. Security officials say Dujana, who crossed from Pakistan-administered Kashmir in 2010, was the longest surviving fighter in the Indian-controlled territory and used his popularity to escape military traps and mount attacks on security forces. One protester was killed and several injured as clashes broke out at several places across Kashmir following the incident. [caption id="attachment_134879" align="aligncenter" width="900"]kashmir Violent clashes erupted in the Valley following the killing of most wanted Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) Commander Abu Dujana and his associate in Pulwama encounter on August 1, 2017 AP[/caption] Unrest has simmered in Kashmir since a popular militant leader was killed just over a year ago, sparking clashes that have left more than 90 civilians dead. India has been struggling to restore normality in Muslim-majority Kashmir, which both India and Pakistan claim in full but rule in part. India accuses Pakistan of infiltrating militants across a de facto border to carry out attacks, a charge denied by Islamabad. Hunted for years Security officials say Dujana, who crossed from Pakistan-administered Kashmir in 2010, was the longest surviving fighter in the Indian-controlled territory and used his popularity to escape military traps and mount attacks on security forces. He had a reputation for being “a master of disguise” who escaped at least five previous military cordons. The militant also appeared at the funerals of slain comrades at least twice, but gave police and troops the slip. His death is one of the biggest blows to Kashmiri separatists since the death of another commander, Burhan Wani, in July last year. Wani’s killing sparked months of widespread protests against Indian rule and left nearly 100 civilians dead and thousands injured. Since then, stone-throwing civilians, sometimes entire communities, have increasingly gone out onto the streets to support rebels trapped by military cordons in a bid to help them escape. Militant groups, including LeT, have for decades fought roughly 500,000 Indian soldiers deployed in the territory, demanding independence or a merger with Pakistan. Tens of thousands, mostly civilians, have died in the fighting.
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