India troops kill 4 rebels in Kashmir amid virus lockdown

Indian paramilitary troopers stands guard at a checkpoint in an area declared Red Zone in connection with a nationwide lockdown as a preventive measures against the spread of the coronavirus in Srinagar on April 7, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 22 April 2020

India troops kill 4 rebels in Kashmir amid virus lockdown

  • India has continued its counterinsurgency operations across Kashmir despite a coronavirus lockdown
  • Residents posting on social media said they were local rebels

SRINAGAR, India: Indian government forces killed four rebels in a gunbattle in disputed Kashmir during a stringent lockdown to combat the coronavirus, the Indian army said Thursday.
The fighting broke out in a village in southern Shopian district as counterinsurgency police and soldiers raided a house on a tip that militants were hiding there late Wednesday night, said army spokesman Col. Rajesh Kalia.
During the gunfight, troops blew up the house with explosives, a common tactic by security forces, residents said.
India has continued its counterinsurgency operations across Kashmir despite a coronavirus lockdown. Militants also have not ceased their attacks on government forces and alleged informants. On Sunday, militants attacked a paramilitary post and killed three soldiers.
The latest violence comes amid near daily fighting between Pakistani and Indian soldiers along the highly militarized frontier that divides Kashmir between the two rivals.
Officer Amritpal Singh said police had not yet identified the slain militants. Residents posting on social media said they were local rebels.
Last week, police secretly buried the bodies of two militants as “unidentified” in a faraway graveyard despite their families seeking to claim them.
According to human rights groups, thousands in Kashmir are buried in unmarked graves, most of them close to the frontier. Indian authorities say those militants are of foreign origin who sneaked into the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir from Pakistani-administered territory to fight government forces.
India and Pakistan claim divided Kashmir in its entirety. Most Kashmiris support the rebel cause that the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country while also participating in civilian street protests against Indian control.
Rebels have been fighting Indian control since 1989. India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the rebels, a charge Pakistan denies. Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian military crackdown.


Spain’s former king leaving country amid financial scandal

Updated 03 August 2020

Spain’s former king leaving country amid financial scandal

  • The 82-year-old former king is credited with helping Spain peacefully restore democracy after the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975
  • Marred by scandals in the later years of his reign, Juan Carlos in 2014 abdicated in favor of his son Felipe VI

MADRID: Spain’s former monarch, King Juan Carlos I, says he is leaving Spain to live in another country amid a financial scandal.
The royal family’s website on Monday published a letter from Juan Carlos to his son, King Felipe VI, saying “I am informing you of my considered decision to move, during this period, out of Spain.”
Spain’s prime minister recently said he found the developments about Juan Carlos — including investigations in Spain and Switzerland — “disturbing.”
The 82-year-old former king is credited with helping Spain peacefully restore democracy after the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975.
But marred by scandals in the later years of his reign, Juan Carlos in 2014 abdicated in favor of his son Felipe VI, losing the inviolability protection Spain’s Constitution grants to the head of state.
The royal house has denied that Felipe had any knowledge of his father’s alleged financial irregularities.