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28 killed in India-controlled Kashmir over 2 weeks of violence: Report

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Indian forces patrol in a vehicle near the site of a firefight between suspected gunmen and government troops in the southern part of the Indian-controlled Kashmir, October 16, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

At least 28 people, including nine civilians, have reportedly been gunned down over the past two weeks during a fresh surge in violence and a government crackdown in the Indian-controlled Kashmir. 

On Saturday, two gunmen were killed outside the main city of Srinagar, said police inspector general Vijay Kumar, according to AFP.

“Hours later, gunmen shot dead a street vendor and a laborer from outside Kashmir in separate shootings,” the police were quoted by the agency as saying.

Two troops also died in a "fierce firefight" near the highly-militarized ceasefire line between Indian- and Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, a military statement said.

Also on Saturday, a police officer from the Indian-controlled Kashmir told the news agency that more than 1,000 people had been arrested on suspicion of “links” with unauthorized groups.

Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Kashmir's chief Muslim cleric, who has been under house arrest for more than two years, has warned in a statement that "systemic oppression" was taking its toll on Kashmiri youths.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since their partition in 1947, with both countries claiming the region in full. 

India regularly accuses Pakistan of arming and training militants and allowing them to launch attacks across the restive frontier. Pakistan strongly rejects the accusation.

India and Pakistan have fought four wars since their partition in 1947, three of them over Kashmir.

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