Thousands attend funeral for Kashmir rebel commander

Kashmiri men carry the body of slain commander Zeenatul Islam of the Al-Badr group gather during his funeral procession for at Sugan village of Shopian, south of Srinagar, on January 13, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Thousands of mourners gathered in disputed Kashmir on Sunday, January 13, for the funeral of a commander of pro-independence fighters, Zeenatul Islam, who was killed in a battle with government forces.
Islam and another fighter were killed in a gunbattle with Indian troops late on Saturday. Police said further clashes erupted on Sunday after government forces in the southern Shopian area tried to stop mourners from attending the funeral, which led to injuries to at least 16 people.
Most Kashmiris support the pro-independence cause that the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country while also participating in civilian street protests against Indian control.
India and Pakistan each claim the divided territory of Kashmir in its entirety. Pro-independence fighters have been combating Indian illegal control since 1989.

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