x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Police officer shot dead in Kashmir

Gunmen open fire on policeman who was patrolling a market, in attack that also wounds two of his colleagues and injures a shopkeeper.

SRINAGAR // Suspected rebels in Indian Kashmir shot dead a police officer and wounded two of his colleagues outside the main city of Srinagar on Monday.

The gunmen opened fire on the officer who was patrolling a market in Chadoora, 25 kilometres from Srinagar, in an attack that also injured a shopkeeper, the police official said.

The “officer died in the attack. We are ascertaining what exactly happened”, the inspector general of police, Abdul Gani Mir, said.

Intelligence reports suggested militants were planning to step up attacks on police officers in the restive Himalayan territory, police said recently.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan by a de facto border known as the Line of Control but it is claimed in full by both countries.

More than a dozen armed rebel groups have been fighting Indian forces since 1989 for the region’s independence or its merger with Pakistan.

Attacks in Indian Kashmir are at their lowest in 20 years, but the region remains tense, with many Kashmiris chafing under tight security.

Tens of thousands of people have died in the fighting by official count while local rights groups estimate up to 70,000 have lost their lives.

* Agence France-Presse