Indian army kills two ‘militants’ near Srinagar

SRINAGAR: Government forces killed two heavily armed separatists on the outskirts of Indian-administered Kashmir’s summer capital Srinagar on Friday, a day after soldiers shot dead two militants to end a daring siege of a city hotel.

Friday’s shootout began after an Indian army patrol was fired at from a house in Pampore town, about 12 kilometres south of Srinagar.

Police said the two militants belonged to the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba group.

Indian intelligence agencies have warned of a spike in attacks in Kashmir such as this week’s siege at a Srinagar hotel that paralysed the city for almost 22 hours.

The flare-up in violence is the worst in two years in Srinagar, hurting government claims of a gradual return to peace after successful local elections last year.

Such attacks, experts say, could raise the political temperature between India and Pakistan and make more difficult any effort at normalising relations strained by the 2008 Mumbai raid.

“The fear is any bigger attack outside Kashmir will hamper chances of resumption of any dialogue with Pakistan,” retired Major General Ashok Mehta, said in New Delhi. —Reuters

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