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Indian troops martyr 17 youth in occupied Kashmir

SRINAGAR: Indian troops martyred 17 youth and injured as many as 100 in their fresh acts of state terrorism in Shopian and Islamabad districts of occupied Kashmir on Sunday, according to a Kashmir Media Service (KMS) report.

The youth were killed during cordon and search operations, launched by Indian forces at Dagdard and Kachdoora areas of the two districts in South Kashmir. The toll is likely to increase once the operation is over.

The killings triggered forceful anti-India protests in the two districts. Over 100 civilians were injured when Indian forces used brute force and fired pellets and bullets on protesters.

Medical Superintendent of District Hospital Shopian Dr Shafat told media that they were unable to maintain the record of the injured because of the heavy rush. However, independent sources said that the number of injured youth could be more than 100.

Shutdown was observed and protests were held in many parts of Srinagar. Clashes were reported between the protesters and the troops. Scores of students of Kashmir University staged a protest at varsity campus in Srinagar against the killings. The protesting students shouted pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. They carried banners reading, ‘End Occupation, Free Kashmir’.

Meanwhile, two-day shutdown across the occupied territory began from Sunday to mourn the killings. Call for the strike has been given by the Joint Resistance Leadership.

Indian police in a statement claimed that 11 youths were killed in two gunfights with Indian forces in south Kashmir districts.

Seven youths were killed in Dragad and four in Kachdora areas of South Kashmir. They said top separatist commanders were among those killed.

Separately, a young man Rouf Bashir Khanday was killed during an overnight operation at Brunty Dialgam in Islamabad district.

The authorities have suspended train and Internet services in South Kashmir districts following the killings.

Killing of Kashmiri youth in fake encounters is rampant in India-Occupied Kashmir. About half a million Indian soldiers are deployed in the Muslim-majority state, where more than 260 people were killed only in 2017.

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