Deadly two-day operation against rebels concludes in Kashmir

Police and paramilitary officers carry the coffin of their colleague Deepak Thusoo, who was killed in a gun battle with suspected rebels, during a ceremony at the police headquarters in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir on Mar. 22, 2018. (AP)
Updated 22 March 2018
0

Deadly two-day operation against rebels concludes in Kashmir

SRINAGAR: Government forces have ended a two-day operation against rebels fighting against Indian rule in disputed Kashmir in which 10 combatants died, officials said Thursday.
Troops cleared explosives from a remote forested village in northwestern Kupwara region where fighting began early Tuesday and ended overnight, police said.
Five government troops, including three soldiers and two counterinsurgency police, and five suspected insurgents were killed in the fierce fighting.
Speaking at wreath-laying ceremony for a slain police official, Inspector-General S.P. Pani said the operation was difficult because of the thick vegetation and mountainous terrain. He said the slain militants were intercepted after they had infiltrated into the Indian-held side of Kashmir from Pakistani-controlled Kashmir.
Pani also said evidence pointed to their allegiance to Lashkar-e-Taiba, a militant group New Delhi blames for a 2008 attack that left 166 people dead in India's commercial capital of Mumbai.
There was no independent confirmation of the police claim.
Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan each administer part of Kashmir, but both claim it in its entirety.
Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Kashmir, which in recent years has seen renewed rebel attacks and repeated public protests against Indian rule.
Rebels have been fighting Indian rule since 1989, demanding Kashmir be made part of Pakistan or become an independent country.
India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the rebels, a charge Pakistan denies.
Most Kashmiris support the rebels' cause against Indian rule while also participating in civilian street protests against Indian control.
Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian military crackdown.


Trial starts for suspect in tourist killings in Tajikistan

Updated 20 min 43 sec ago
0

Trial starts for suspect in tourist killings in Tajikistan

  • Man who swore allegiance to Daesh before killing four foreign cyclists in ex-Soviet Tajikistan went on trial
  • Four of Abdusamadov’s accomplices were killed by police during a manhunt

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan: A man who swore allegiance to Daesh before killing four foreign cyclists in ex-Soviet Tajikistan went on trial Tuesday in a process closed to the public.
Tajikistan’s Supreme Court spokesperson told AFP Tuesday the trial for the “brutal murder of four foreign cyclists” had begun in the suspect’s high-security detention center.
Hussein Abdusamadov, 33, already confessed to killing American cycling tourists Lauren Geoghegan and Jay Austin, Dutch citizen Rene Wokke and Swiss citizen Markus Hummel in July.
The victims were struck by a car as they cycled along the remote Pamir Highway, a popular route among adventure tourists, before being set upon with knives and firearms.
Four of Abdusamadov’s accomplices were killed by police during a manhunt.
A video of the five men pledging allegiance to Daesh leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was released by an official Daesh media channel.
Tajik authorities have so far ignored the video evidence, instead blaming a former opposition party — the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan — that was banned by the government in 2015.
The fact the trial is closed has raised concerns about due process in a country with a poor record on political freedoms and human rights.
Abdusamadov implicated the IRPT as the ultimate organizer of the attack in a televised confession, but critics say the government is using the case to tar the opposition.
A dozen senior members of the IRPT are serving long sentences up to life on charges government critics say are trumped up.
In addition to Abdusamadov, 16 other people stand accused of not offering information to the authorities that could have prevented the attack, a source in the police told AFP.