Indian Soldier and Two Militants Killed in Kashmir Gun Battle
© AP Photo / Dar YasinA paramilitary soldier stands outside a bunker near the site of a grenade explosion in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022.
© AP Photo / Dar Yasin
The battle broke out in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on Tuesday. Another soldier was reportedly injured and was taken to an army base for treatment.
Local police have reported that three men have died in a Kashmir gun battle.
The fight comes a day after Kashmiri Hindu Sanjay Sharma from the region’s Pandit community was killed by suspected militants in the same district.
Jammu and Kashmir Police alleged that the militants killed in Tuesday’s battle were responsible for the killing of Sharma on Sunday.
Senior police officials told media in Srinagar that one of the slain militants had been identified as Aqib Mushtaq Bhat, a resident of the troubled Pulwama region.
© AP Photo / Channi AnandIndian Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers patrol near the India-Pakistan border fencing at Suchet Garh in Ranbir Singh Pura, Jammu and Kashmir, India, Jan. 23, 2020.
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers patrol near the India-Pakistan border fencing at Suchet Garh in Ranbir Singh Pura, Jammu and Kashmir, India, Jan. 23, 2020.
© AP Photo / Channi Anand
Bhat was purportedly associated with the Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) militant outfit. Police claimed that he had lately joined The Resistance Front (TRF), a militant grouping that Indian security services claim is an offshoot of the Pakistan-based Laskhar-e-Taiba (LeT).
While HM and LeT have been banned in India for over two decades, Delhi recently outlawed the TRF which was formed around the revocation of Kashmir's semi-autonomous status in August 2019.
The outfit has since carried out attacks on Indian security forces and civilians it accuses of either working for or being close to the Indian government. Likewise, non-local residents and minority communities have also been targeted, with Sharma being the latest victim.
Sharma, who was a bank security guard, is also the tenth Kashmiri pandit to be killed since 2020 according to Indian government data.