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CrisisWatch Kashmir

Deteriorated Situation

Militant attacks and counter-insurgency operations inside Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) sharply intensified, while clashes across Line of Control (LoC, dividing Pakistan and Indian-administered Kashmir) continued. Militant related-violence spiked in J&K: in Anantang district, militants 2 April killed local resident and same day killed paramilitary officer; paramilitary forces said they had killed four alleged Hizbul Mujahideen militants in Kulgram district 4 April; next day, army claimed five suspected militants, who infiltrated across LoC, killed in clash in Kupwara district, which reportedly also killed five soldiers; police 8 April reported govt forces killed militant in clash in Baramulla district; following day, security forces killed alleged Jaish-e-Mohammed militant in Sopore town; police official 17 April said govt forces killed four militants in two separate clashes in Kishtwar and Shopian districts; security forces 26 April killed four alleged militants in Ashtal village, Kulgram. Cross-LoC fire between India and Pakistan continued amid increased hostile rhetoric on both sides. Following new set of domicile rules for J&K issued by Indian govt 1 April, easing rules for securing permanent residence, including for students, civil and military personnel and their children, Pakistani PM Khan next day tweeted law was attempt to “illegally alter the demography” of Kashmir “in violation of all international laws & treaties”; Indian external affairs ministry 4 April responded Islamabad would best serve J&K by “ending cross-border terrorism and desisting from its campaign of violence and false propaganda”. Pakistani army 9 April said it shot down Indian surveillance drone, though India denied ownership; India army 10 April reported Pakistani cross-LoC firing killed three civilians; Pakistani military said Indian firing seriously injured six civilians 11 April and killed young child 13 April; senior Indian commander 13 April alleged Pakistani army attempted to infiltrate COVID-19 infected people into Kashmir Valley, accusations Pakistan branded as “baseless”. Indian army chief 17 April accused Islamabad of “fomenting trouble” and “exporting terror” into Kashmir during pandemic; same day, Pakistani foreign ministry rejected allegations as “irresponsible” and “spurious”.

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