3 Indian soldiers, Kashmir woman killed during rebel attack

Published On: February 23, 2017 03:52 PM NPT By: Associated Press

SRINAGAR, India, Feb 23:  Three Indian soldiers and a woman were killed after rebels ambushed soldiers in the disputed region of Kashmir, police said on Thursday.

Inspector-General Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gillani said the militants tossed grenades and sprayed bullets at soldiers after they were returning from a search operation in the southern Shopian area early Thursday.

Gillani said the attack triggered a brief exchange of gunfire and a stray bullet hit the 60-year-old woman while she was sleeping in her home.

Three soldiers, including two officers, were also injured in the attack.

There was no independent confirmation of the incident.

Locals said that shortly after the firing stopped, soldiers ransacked homes and smashed dozens of cars in the area.

Rashid Ahmed, a villager, said the soldiers "barged into homes" and even fired inside rooms.

Video on social media showed windows of parked cars had been smashed as well as windows of homes.

Indian army and police did not immediately respond to the allegations.

Meanwhile, thousands of people chanting slogans against Indian rule and in support of the rebel cause took part in the woman's funeral.

India and Pakistan each administer a portion of Kashmir, but both claim the Himalayan territory in its entirety. Most people in the Indian-controlled portion favor independence or a merger with Pakistan.

Rebels have been fighting against Indian rule since 1989. Since then, more than 68,000 people have been killed in the armed uprising and ensuing Indian military crackdown.

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