14 killed in fresh Kashmir clashes

Agence France Presse

Srinagar, July 5:

Fourteen people were killed in fresh separatist-linked violence in Kashmir, police said today, bringing to 49 the number of people who have been killed in the state in the past three days.

Two militants and an Indian soldier were killed overnight in a fierce gun battle near the town of Kulgam, a police spokesman said. "The fighting erupted during a search operation by the Indian army," he said, identifying one of the slain militants as Ansar Khan, alias Talibani.

Near the same town, suspected rebels shot dead a civilian overnight, police said, while in another incident, suspected militants killed a colleague in Baramulla district who had surrendered to the Indian army. Meanwhile, Indian troops shot dead a militant along the de facto border dividing Kashmir between India and Pakistan late yesterday in Sunderbani, nearly 400 km south of Srinagar, police said.

An Indian soldier lost his footing during the operation and died after he slipped into a fast flowing river. Four more rebels were killed in southern Doda district and Anantnag by troops during two "cordon and search" operations, a police spokesman said. In other violence, a militant was gunned down by security forces while a civilian woman was killed by militants in separate incidents in Rajouri district, police said. Police said suspected rebels killed another civilian in northern Kupwara district overnight. Police in Srinagar detained some 15 hardline separatists, among them human rights activist Ghulam Ahmed Gulzar, who were staging a hunger strike to protest alleged human rights violations by Indian troops.