Wednesday Jun 15, 2022
SRINAGAR: Indian forces in Kashmir killed two fighters on Wednesday, one of them "suspected of gunning down a bank manager this month", police said, part of a stepped-up military effort that has triggered an exodus from the Muslim-majority region.
“Indian troops killed two [fighters] this morning in a gun battle, one of them, Jan Mohammad Lone, was involved in the killing of a bank manager,” said Vijay Kumar, the police chief of Occupied Kashmir.
Fighters entered a branch of the Ellaquai Dehati Bank in Kulgam town this month and killed the manager, who came from the desert state of Rajasthan and had only been posted to the branch four days earlier.
A little-known group called the Kashmir Freedom Fighters claimed responsibility for the attack, warning outsiders not to settle in the Kashmir Valley.
At least 16 people — both Hindu and Muslims — have been killed in targeted attacks in Occupied Kashmir this year.
Kumar said troops were tracking fighters and had gunned down eight involved in killings in recent weeks.
At least 104 fighters have been killed in Kashmir this year, double the toll in the same period last year, he said.