2018 deadliest year for Jammu and Kashmir in decade

2018 deadliest year for Jammu and Kashmir in decade

Indian police surrounded a Kashmiri protestor in Srinagar . (FOTO ANTARA/REUTERS/Fayaz Kabl)

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

Ankara, Jan. 10 (Antara/Anadolu-OANA) - The year 2018 was the deadliest in the last decade in Jammu and Kashmir, as 586 people were killed in the region, according to a rights group.

Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Societies (JKCCS) -- a rights group based in Srinagar, the capital city of Jammu Kashmir -- in its annual report said nearly 586 people -- including 160 civilians, 267 militants and 159 Indian security personnel -- were killed in the region.

Jammu and Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.

Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.

According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have reportedly been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.

"The year 2018 was the deadliest year of the last decade," the JKCCS report said, adding: "The killing of 267 militants during encounters with armed forces and police is also the highest in the last decade."

Moreover, the report noted that Kashmir was witnessing a "marked uptick" in militant killings since 2016 as 145, 216 and 267 militants were killed in the region in 2016, 2017 and 2018, respectively.

At least 120 residential houses were either partially or fully damaged during anti-militancy operations in the region, it said.

Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- two of them over Kashmir.

Also, in Siachen glacier in northern Kashmir, Indian and Pakistani troops have fought intermittently since 1984. A cease-fire came into effect in 2003.

(T.C003/C/C003/F001) 10-01-2019 07:25:40

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