SRINAGAR, India: Gunmen shot and injured 10 police paramilitaries Monday who were trying to impose a curfew in the main city of Kashmir during Indian Independence Day, security sources said.
Three of those who were wounded are in a serious condition, according to a spokesman for the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), after two separate attacks in the center of Srinagar where security forces had been on high alert.
Authorities have imposed a curfew in large parts of Kashmir, India’s only Muslim majority state, since July 9 during an upsurge in violence sparked by the killing of a top militant commander.
CRPF spokesman Bhuvesh Chaudhary said that seven paramilitaries had been injured in the first attack in the Nowhatta neighborhood and three others were injured shortly afterwards in another shooting close by.
Another security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that intermittent firing was still being heard in the neighborhood and it was not yet clear how many gunmen had been involved.
Indian-administered Kashmir has been under a curfew since protests broke out over the death last month of the popular young rebel leader Burhan Wani in a gunfight with security forces.
More than 50 civilians have been killed in clashes between protesters and security forces, and thousands more injured in the worst violence to hit the Himalayan region since 2010.
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in August 1947 but both claim the territory in full.
It is the epicenter of a separatist insurgency, with several rebel groups fighting Indian troops and police as they seek either independence or a merger with Pakistan.
Although Modi made no direct reference to the situation in Kashmir in his annual Independence Day speech on Monday he made a general appeal for youths to steer clear of violence.
“I want to tell these youths that this country will never tolerate terrorism, this country will never tolerate terrorists and this country will never bow down to terrorists,” he said.