Two killed during anti-India protests in Kashmir

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - A woman and a young man have been killed and several other people were injured during anti-India protests in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

Violence erupted after government forces launched an operation against rebels in the disputed region, police said.

Indian troops came under fire from militants as soldiers laid a cordon around the southern village of Dialgam following a tip that rebels were hiding there, senior police officer Muneer Ahmed Khan said.

After a brief exchange of fire, militants took refuge inside a home where civilians, including women, were also trapped. Mr Khan said the woman was killed in the crossfire.

However, local residents said several men and women rushed to the house where the militants took shelter and asked soldiers to give them safe passage.

The residents said troops were not letting some of the women leave.

"We're negotiating with the civilians," Mr Khan said.

A police statement later accused militants of holding civilians as human shields.

As news of the siege spread, hundreds of people from Dialgam and neighbouring villages broke the security lockdown and marched near the site in solidarity with the protesters while demanding an end to Indian rule over the region.

Intense clashes erupted in and around the village as locals threw rocks at the troops, who fired tear gas and shotgun pellets to quell the spiralling protests.

A young man was killed and at least 16 people were injured in the clashes.

Authorities blocked internet and mobile phone services in some parts of southern Kashmir following the fighting.

India and Pakistan control part of Kashmir, but both claim the disputed territory in its entirety.



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