A paramilitary police commander and seven suspected pro-independence fighters have been killed in a series of gun battles across Indian-administered Kashmir.
This came after gunmen shot and wounded at least 10 police paramilitaries in two separate attacks in the main city of Srinagar on Monday.
Atul Karwal, an officer of India’s Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) confirmed that one of those critically injured later succumbed to his injuries in hospital.
Karwal added that two militants were killed in a shootout which followed the attack in Srinagar’s Nowhatta locality. “We have lost a commanding officer. Two militants were also killed in the ensuing gunfight.”
The violence took place when the paramilitaries were trying to impose a curfew across the Muslim-majority region during Indian Independence Day.
In a separate gunfight on Monday, five militants were killed in the northern Uri sector near the Line of Control (LoC) – which divides the parts of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir administered by India and neighboring Pakistan.
Imtiyaz Hussain, the area’s police chief said two Indian army officers, including a commanding officer, were also wounded and evacuated to an army hospital in Srinagar.
Fresh series of clashes erupted in Kashmir on July 8, when people protested against the killing of Burhan Wani, a popular pro-independence fighter at the hand of Indian forces.
As many as 55 people have so far been killed and several thousands of others injured during clashes between protesters and Indian security personnel.
There are an estimated 500,000 Indian troops currently deployed in the restive territory. The country has imposed a curfew across large parts of the territory since July.
Since India and Pakistan won independence from British rule in 1947, the arch-rivals have been claiming Kashmir in full but have had only partial control over it.
Thousands of people have been killed in the unrest in Kashmir since early 1990s.