Fresh Kashmir violence kills 16
* New police, intelligence chiefs for Kashmir
JAMMU: Sixteen people, six of them members of a Muslim family, were killed and nineteen others injured in Indian-administered Kashmir in a fresh bout of violence, officials said on Monday.
Six members of a Muslim family were shot dead by suspected Islamic militants in the border district of Rajouri, 150 kilometres west Jammu, a police spokesman said.
The spokesman said militants forced their way into the house of Mehmood Gujjar and killed four women and two children, Arshad Ahmed, 4, and Maroof Ahmed, 2. The eldest victim was a 60-year-old woman.
Police said angry locals staged a brief protest against the lack of security in the village when officers reached Mehratop. No rebel group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Indian troops shot dead five Muslim rebels, three belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen, in the early hours of Monday near Kokernag in southern Anantnag district and at the village of Gunjod in the Udhampur district, police said.
A Muslim woman died when she strayed into the crossfire between the militants and the security forces in Kathua district, police said.
Suspected militants shot dead a Muslim policeman near the highway township of Awantipora, 30 km south of Srinagar, police said.
A member of India’s Border Security Force (BSF) was shot dead from point-blank range in downtown Srinagar.
Meanwhile, Indian army troopers shot dead two suspected militants accused of stealing five million rupees at gunpoint in southern Kashmir, a police spokesman said. The robbery was reported near Shopian town, 50 km south of Srinagar, police said.
At least 15 civilians were injured in two explosions at Kashmir’s busiest bus terminal, officials and witnesses said.
They said suspected Muslim rebels triggered a grenade explosion followed by a mine blast near a BSF concrete bunker at the entrance to the bus terminal in the busy Batamaloo area of Srinagar.
Meanwhile, the authorities in Indian-administered Kashmir on Monday ordered a major reshuffle in the police and intelligence departments of the strife-torn region, an official spokesman said.
Gopal Sharma has been appointed police chief to replace Ashok Kumar Suri and Ashok Bhan, the former police chief, has been promoted as the chief of intelligence department. —Agencies