Hundreds of anti-government protesters clashed with security forces in Pulwama (Kashmir) on Saturday, December 29, following the killing of four militants in the same town. Security forces were conducting a raid that resulted in a four-hour long gunfight with suspected militants. Four militants were killed and at least three homes were damaged or destroyed in the fighting. Hundreds of local residents then gathered to protest the killings before security forces forcibly dispersed the crowd. At least six protesters were wounded in the conflict. Further such security operations and resulting protests are likely in Kashmir in the near term. Mobile internet and telecommunication service disruptions are also possible in the event of protests or large security operations.
At least 11 people were killed in Pulwama district, including seven civilians, on December 15 during fighting between security forces and suspected militants.
Insurgents have been fighting Indian rule in Jammu and Kashmir since 1989. Some 70,000 people have died and many more have been injured in related violence, uprisings, and military crackdowns. Recently, the Indian government has conducted several security operations in the region amid rising tensions and sporadic violence.
Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor developments to the situation, anticipate telecommunication disruptions, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments. As a reminder, some Western governments advise their citizens against travel to parts of Kashmir, notably including areas along the Line of Control (LoC), due to the significant risk of violence.
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