SRINAGAR, INDIA (AP) – Assailants fatally shot two non-local workers in two targetted attacks in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Saturday night, police said, days after five people were killed in a similar fashion in the disputed region.
The killing came hours after police said government forces killed four suspected militants in the last 24 hours and claimed three of them were involved in last week’s killings of three members of minority communities.
Police blamed militants fighting against Indian rule for the Saturday attacks in the region’s main city and a village in southern Kashmir and called the killings “terror attacks”.
In a first incident in Srinagar, police said militants fired at a Hindu street vendor from India’s eastern state of Bihar. He died on the spot, police said.
An hour later, a worker from northern Uttar Pradesh state was shot and critically wounded in southern Litter village of Pulwama district. Police said he later died at a hospital.
Last week, assailants fatally shot three Hindus, a Sikh woman and a local Muslim taxi driver in the region in a sudden rise in violence against civilians that both pro- and anti-India Kashmiri politicians widely condemned.
Also Saturday, two militants were killed in a gunfight with government forces in southern Pampore area, police said.
Another two rebels were killed in two separate gunbattles with Indian troops in Srinagar and southern Pulwama district on Friday.
Police said three among the slain rebels were involved in the killings of prominent local chemist and two schoolteachers.
Following the spate of killings last week, authorities have detained over 1,000 people in a sweeping crackdown across the Kashmir Valley.