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Gunmen kill Kashmir man hours after home minister announces end of ceasefire

Police officials said that suspected militants barged into the home of Iqbal Kawak at Kelam in Kulgam district and opened fire, hours after the government announced it will resume security operations in Jammu and Kashmir.

india Updated: Jun 18, 2018 10:59 IST
Ashiq Hussain
Ashiq Hussain
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Jammu and Kashmir ceasefire,Kashmir conflict,Kulgam
Protesters clash with police and paramilitary soldiers after Eid prayers in Kashmir. (Waseem Andrabi/HT File Photo)

A 45-year-old man was killed by unidentified gunmen in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Sunday evening, hours after Union home minister Rajnath Singh revoked month-long unilateral ceasefire during Ramzan, blaming “violence and killings” by “terrorists” for the decision.

Police officials said that suspected militants barged into the home of Iqbal Kawak at Kelam in Kulgam district and opened fire.

“Three militants targeted Kawak in his home. He has succumbed to his injuries,” Kulgam’s superintendent of police Harmeet Singh said.

Kawak was an employee at the consumer affairs and public distribution department, Singh said.

“It is not clear why he was targeted. He was a civilian,” he added.

Kawak is the 12th person to be killed in the past one week in Kashmir.

The editor of the Rising Kashmir Shujaat Bukhari and his two security officers were killed in a drive-by shooting two days before Eid.

Militants abducted and gunned down a Rashtriya Rifles soldier, Aurangzeb, as he was heading home for Eid. And, two men were allegedly killed in security forces action during protests in south Kashmir.

On Saturday, gunmen fired at two civilians in Shopian.

Five civilians were wounded in a mysterious “low intensity” blast inside a park at Manasbal in Ganderbal district on Sunday. Police officials said all of them were shifted to a nearby hospital and are stated to be stable.

Ganderbal’s superintendent of police Fayaz Lone said they suspect that firecrackers were combined to trigger the low-intensity explosion.

“It seems [like a] mischief on somebody’s behalf. We are investigating,” he said.

Union home minister Singh said the government’s May 17 decision to end security operations aimed to provide the people of Jammu and Kashmir a “conducive atmosphere to observe Ramzan” but militants continued with their attacks, on civilians and security forces, resulting in deaths and injuries.

Officials have said a record 20 grenade attacks, 50 militant strikes and 41 killings took place in Kashmir during the month-long suspension of security operations in the valley. Among the dead were 24 militants and most of them were killed in the frontier district of Kupwara.

First Published: Jun 18, 2018 10:54 IST