Five people were killed by militants in Indian Kashmir on Tuesday (October 29), police said, as a group of European Union lawmakers began the first visit by a foreign delegation to the disputed region since New Delhi revoked its autonomy in August.
According to the police, in the single bloodiest incident in recent months, the five men – all construction workers from West Bengal state in eastern India – were shot dead in the Kulgam district. One person was injured.
Militants have been fighting Indian rule over Kashmir for nearly three decades, and police say that these groups have increasingly targeted non-Kashmiris either working in the state or doing business there since August.
“Terrorism now is a world problem. It is a problem of France, it is a problem of Europe, it is a problem of the world and I don’t want Kashmir (to) become a second Afghanistan,” Thierry Mariani, an EU lawmaker, told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday (October 30) in Srinagar.
India accuses Pakistan of backing militants in Kashmir, which Islamabad denies. Both countries claim the region in full but rule in parts.
The latest killings followed a day of stone-throwing protests across parts of Kashmir after a weeks-long lull, triggered by the arrival of 23 EU lawmakers.
(Production: Mark Ho)