SRINAGAR: A six-year-old boy caught in crossfire was among five people killed in Indian Kashmir on Friday, officials said, as security forces step up a clampdown in the disputed Himalayan region, reports AFP.
New Delhi has bolstered counter-insurgency efforts in the restive territory, with at least 33 separatist militants killed this month.The child was in a car that drove into a gun battle between suspected rebels and paramilitaries near the town of Bijbehara, a police officer told AFP.
“The boy and a soldier were injured during the exchange of fire and both later died in hospital,” said the officer, who asked not to be named. Three rebels were killed in a separate firefight at Chewa, near the region’s main city Srinagar, in a battle that lasted 20 hours, army spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said.
Armed clashes are frequent in Indian Kashmir but have increased in recent weeks. Kashmir is claimed by both India and Pakistan and has been divided between the two nuclear-armed rivals since 1947.