Indian troops martyr another youth in occupied Kashmir, toll rises to 7

ISLAMABAD: Indian troops martyred another youth in occupied Kashmir on Sunday, the number of victims gunned down in alleged encounters reaching seven in less than two days.

The youth was killed during a military operation in the Gurez area of Bandipora. Indian soldiers had killed six youths in a similar operation in the Uri area of Baramulla district on Saturday evening, the Kashmir Media Service reported.

The Indian forces then launched a siege and search operation in the Vessu area of Islamabad district following an attack on a convoy of the Indian paramilitary force. One person was injured during the exchange of fire between the attackers and the troops.

The troops harassed residents, damaging several houses in Narpora, Shopian after some youths pelted stone on their vehicles.

The All Parties Hurriyet Conference (APHC) denounced the continued house arrest of its chairman Syed Ali Gilani, accusing India of plotting to kill the octogenarian leader.

On Thursday, the Indian army said one of its soldiers and three suspected rebels died in a shoot-out along the de facto border that divides occupied Kashmir with Pakistan. The incident came a few days after the troops claimed to have killed four four attackers who had stormed their camp in Sumbal area.

Freedom fighters have for decades been fighting roughly 700,000 Indian soldiers deployed in the territory, demanding independence from India or a merger of the Himalayan region with Pakistan.

Armed encounters between rebels fighting against Indian rule of Kashmir and soldiers have become more frequent since last July when security forces killed a popular rebel commander.

Officials say dozens of youths have joined the ranks of the rebels, who enjoy renewed public support.

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