South Kashmir saw the biggest anti-militancy operations in the last decade Sunday when 20 people including 12 militants, four civilians, and three army personnel were killed. Three separate conflicts saw another 100 civilians injured among protests Sunday.
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Police in Kashmir opened fire on demonstrators who were throwing stones at them. India and Pakistan have been in a brutal conflict over land between the nations for decades. Officials say some civilians who support separatist rebels who want independence or to pledge allegiance to Pakistan were among those injured in the bloodiest day in recent years.
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Skirmishes that saw three army personnel killed took place in Kachidoor villages of Shopian and Dialgam of Anantnag. The killings are expected to put a halt on militant attacks for some time. Militant groups have been using Kashmir as their stronghold in the wake of killings of civilians and Hurriyat leaders, Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, and Yasin Malik.
GOC 15 Corps, A K Bhatt said, "This is the special day for all armed forces. We have avenged the killing of Lt Ummar Fayaz. We appeal youth of Kashmir not to get swayed by Pakistan and its proxies here. Kinetic operations against militants will continue.
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Inspector General of Operations of CRPF, Zulfikar Hassan, said "The frequency of protests during encounters has increased. We ask locals not to come out and protest near encounter sites. It will not stop us from conducting operations and encounters." Militant groups began to uprise after the 2016 killing of Burhan Wani in 2016.
In response, the government launched Operation All Out to take out the militancy. In 2017 the operation killed over 213 militants since then, around 173 have joined militant ranks.
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