Indian troops in Kashmir shoot seven protesters dead

“These kind of civilian casualties are the spur for youngsters in the area to pick up guns.” (AP)
Updated 16 December 2018
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Indian troops in Kashmir shoot seven protesters dead

  • Government forces fired bullets, shotgun pellets and tear gas at the stone-throwing protesters, killing two and injuring about 26 others
  • India and Pakistan each claim the divided territory of Kashmir in its entirety

DELHI: Seven people died and dozens were wounded on Saturday when Indian security forces opened fire on civilians protesting at the death of three militants in a gun battle in Kashmir.

The fighting erupted after troops laid siege to a house in southern Pulwama where the militants were hiding. Three armed militants ran from the house into a nearby orchard, where they and one soldier were killed in a gunfight.

Amid the shooting, hundreds of villagers marched toward the orchard, shouting slogans in support of the militants and throwing stones at the troops. Six protesters were shot dead and a seventh died later in hospital from gunshot wounds.

Widespread protests broke out in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir over the killings. Security has been tightened and troops rushed to potential hotspots.

“People in the area are very angry,” one Pulwama resident told Arab News. “These kind of civilian casualties are the spur for youngsters in the area to pick up guns. If the government thinks that by killing people they can scare them, they are living in a fool’s paradise. More and more youth are picking up guns in anger.”

BJP Kashmir spokesman Altaf Thakur blamed separatists for “misleading the youth of Kashmir.”

“Any death is a tragedy,” he told Arab News, “but I would like to put responsibility on those separatist groups who incite young people to pick up guns or become stone throwers in the name of independence. They don’t know they will lose their lives as a result.

“Most people in Kashmir want to live peacefully with India. Only a small section wants to create disturbances. Such people come in the way of peace.”


Attack on UN base in Mali kills 8 peacekeepers: UN source

Updated 20 January 2019
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Attack on UN base in Mali kills 8 peacekeepers: UN source

  • An attack at the same UN base last April killed two peacekeepers and left several others wounded
  • The Bamako government and armed groups signed a peace agreement in 2015 to restore stability

BAMAKO, Mali: Gunmen killed at least eight Chadian UN peacekeepers in an attack Sunday on one of their bases in northern Mali, a source close to the MINUSMA force said.
“According to a new toll, still provisional, at least eight peacekeepers have been killed,” the source said.
The attack happened early Sunday at the Aguelhok base 200 kilometers (125 miles) north of Kidal and toward the border with Algeria, the source added.
A Malian security source spoke of at least six killed and 19 wounded, while a diplomat in northern Mali told AFP that several of the attackers were also killed.
An attack at the same base last April killed two peacekeepers and left several others wounded.
More than 13,000 peacekeepers are deployed in Mali as part of a UN mission that was established after Islamist militias seized northern Mali in 2012. They were pushed backed by French troops in 2013.
A peace agreement signed in 2015 by the Bamako government and armed groups was aimed at restoring stability to Mali following a brief Islamist takeover in the north.
But the accord has failed to stop violence by Islamist militants, who have also staged attacks in Burkina Faso and Niger.
Earlier this month, both France and the United States criticized the authorities in Mali for their failure to stem the worsening violence.