Indian troops kill top rebel Burhan Wani in Kashmir

Indian troops kill top rebel Burhan Wani in Kashmir

Cobrapost |
July 8, 2016

Indian troops kill top rebel Burhan Wani in Kashmir

SRINAGAR: Indian government forces killed the top rebel commander in their part of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, officials said, describing it as a major success against separatists.

Burhan Wani, chief of operations of Indian Kashmir’s largest rebel group Hizbul Mujahideen, was killed in the fighting Friday after Indian troops, acting on a tip, cordoned a forested village in the southern Kashmir’s Kokernag area, said Police Director-General K. Rajendra.

Two rebel comrades of Wani were also killed in the gun battle, he said.

Muslim-majority Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed in entirety by both. On India’s side, about a dozen rebel groups have been fighting for independence or a merger with Pakistan since 1989.

In his early 20’s, Wani had become the iconic face of militancy in Kashmir over the last five years. He was a household name and his video clips and pictures were widely circulated among young people in Kashmir.

Inspector-General Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gillani described his killing as the “biggest success against militants” in recent years.

His death is expected to trigger large scale anti-India protests in the restive region and officials were expected to impose a security lockdown, a police officer said on customary condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorised to talk to reporters.

Separatist leaders have already called for a shutdown on Saturday to protest the killings.

Most citizens in the mostly Muslim region have long resented the Indian presence, and support rebel demands for independent or merging with Pakistan.


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