03:16 GMT05 August 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): India’s Kashmir Valley has been witnessing heightened gunfire between militants and security forces, with stepped up counter-terror operations since April of this year. Most of these encounters have taken place in southern Kashmir.

    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.  

    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.

    Related:

    Three Militants Killed in Encounter with Security Forces in Kashmir's Capital City
    Kashmir Police Chief Accuses Pakistan of Trying to Infiltrate With More Terrorists
    Two Terrorists Killed, 5 Members of Pakistan-Based Terror Group Lashkar-e-Taiba Arrested in Kashmir
    Tags:
    militants, Jammu and Kashmir, Kashmir, Islamabad, Pakistan, New Delhi, India
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