Police: Gunmen kill two Indians in Kashmir

Police: Gunmen kill two Indians in Kashmir
Police: Gunmen kill two Indians in Kashmir

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - File photo of an Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officer patrolling on an empty street during a lockdown on the first anniversary of the revocation of Kashmir's autonomy, in Srinagar August 5, 2020. — Reuters pic

SRINAGAR, Feb 8 — Gunmen in Indian-administered Kashmir have killed two men in the capital Srinagar, the first targeted attack on civilians this year in the disputed territory, police said Thursday.

Two Sikh workers from India’s Punjab state were shot late Wednesday, with one killed immediately and the second dying Thursday morning in hospital, police said.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since their independence in 1947, with both claiming the high-altitude territory in full but administering separate portions of it.

Rebel groups have waged an insurgency in Indian-controlled Kashmir since 1989, demanding either independence or a merger with Pakistan. The conflict has left tens of thousands of civilians, soldiers and militants dead.

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Militants have targeted Indian arrivals to Kashmir since 2019, when New Delhi cancelled the Muslim-majority region’s constitutional semi-autonomy, but Wednesday’s attack was the first in six months.

The change allowed all Indians to buy land and ended exclusive land and job rights for Kashmir’s permanent residents, and tens of thousands of Indians now arrive each year seeking work.

Clashes between militants and government forces have been drastically reduced since the 2019 change, but rebel groups claim any Indian intending to settle in Kashmir is a “legitimate target”. — AFP

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