India: Protesters clash with armed officers in Kashmir
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Assailants sprayed bullets toward a row of civilian homes in a remote village in Indian-controlled Kashmir, leaving at least four civilians dead and five others injured, police have said. Police blamed militants fighting against Indian rule for decades for carrying out the attack at Dhangri village in southern Rajouri district, which is close to the highly militarised Line of Control that divides the disputed region between India and Pakistan.
Top police officer Mukesh Singh told local reporters two gunmen indiscriminately opened fire Sunday night at three houses in Dhangri. He said four civilians were killed and five others were injured.
Authorities rushed police and soldiers to the area and launched search for the attackers.
Manoj Sinha, New Delhi’s top administrator in the region, condemned the incident and called it a “cowardly terror attack.”
He said: “I assure the people that those behind this despicable attack will not go unpunished.”
There was no independent confirmation of the attack.
India and Pakistan each claim the divided territory of Kashmir in its entirety.
Rebels in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir have been fighting New Delhi’s rule since 1989. Most Muslim Kashmiris support the rebel goal of uniting the territory, either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.
India insists the Kashmir militancy is Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. Pakistan denies the charge, and most Kashmiris consider it a legitimate freedom struggle. Tens of thousands of civilians, rebels and government forces have been killed in the conflict.
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