Gun battles leave 12 dead in IOK

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SRINAGAR Three Indian soldiers were killed while nine freedom fighters were martyred in two separate incidents in Indian Occupied Kashmir, officials said on Sunday. Occupied Kashmir had already been under a longrunning curfew as New Delhi scrapped the disputed region’s semi-autonomous status on August 5. Indian army spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia claimed to have killed five armed in surgents early Sunday in Keran area close to the Line of Control. The clashes also left three soldiers dead and critically injured several more, he said in a brief statement. The fighting came within 24 hours of another gun battle between freedom fighters and occupied forces in Kulgam area that left four dead. In February, two freedom fighters and an Indian soldier were killed in an alleged shootout on the outskirts of Srinagar.— AFP