Three militants were gunned down in yet another encounter with security forces in India’s Kashmir valley on Friday. According to Kashmir police, the encounter broke out in the Chewa Ullar area of the Pulwama district on Thursday evening and is ongoing.
#WATCH J&K: Gunshots heard & smoke seen rising out of Chewa Ular in Tral area of Awantipora, Pulwama district where an encounter between terrorists & security forces started last evening. Operation is still underway. (Visuals deferred by unspecified time) pic.twitter.com/FsSYuWbLKi— ANI (@ANI) June 26, 2020
The encounter followed a joint search operation by the Indian Army, paramilitary forces, and local police on an intelligence tip. Today’s encounter was the 12th in the region in June, some 35 militants have been eliminated so far.
Kashmir has been a bone of contention between nuclear-capable India and Pakistan. New Delhi blames Islamabad for fomenting militancy in the region.
Relations between India and Pakistan have nosedived since the beginning of 2019, when both were on the edge of a flare-up following a suicide attack on a convoy of vehicles carrying troops. Forty soldiers were killed in the incident, for which Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility.
India retaliated by bombing suspected terror camps in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Pakistan hit back and shot down an Indian fighter plane.
Again tension escalated between the two after New Delhi stripped the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir's special status. Pakistan, which claims to be a stakeholder in Kashmir, snapped diplomatic ties, trade, and communications with India.
Relations further dipped in recent times, with New Delhi deciding to halve the strength of its mission in Islamabad, after two Indian staffers were allegedly tortured by Pakistani security agencies earlier in June. The last time India resorted to reduction of diplomatic strength in Pakistan was in 2001 after an terror attack on the Indian parliament.