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
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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.


Spain rescues 366 migrants in Mediterranean

Updated 21 min 24 sec ago
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Spain rescues 366 migrants in Mediterranean

BERLIN: Spain’s maritime rescue service says it has rescued 366 migrants attempting the dangerous crossing of the Mediterranean Sea this weekend.
The service says that its rescue craft has intercepted 73 migrants traveling in four small boats on Sunday, adding to the 293 migrants it pulled from nine vessels on Saturday.
Driven out by violent conflict and extreme poverty, tens of thousands of migrants attempt to reach Spain and other southern European countries each year by crossing the Mediterranean in smugglers’ boats. Most of the boats are unfit for open water, and thousands drown.
The UN says 636 migrants have died crossing the Mediterranean so far this year. A total of 22,439 migrants reached European shores, with 4,409 arriving in Spain, through the first four months of 2018.