Top militant commander killed by Indian forces in Kashmir
Hizb ul-Mujahideen is the largest of the three main militant groups in Kashmir, a majority-Muslim region claimed by both India and Pakistan. For three decades, militants in the Indian-controlled portion have fought either to become independent or join Pakistan. In 2017, the United States designated Hizb ul-Mujahideen a terrorist organization.
In the aftermath of Naikoo’s killing, protesters threw stones at security forces in the village of Beighpora where the gunfight took place, according to local media reports. Indian authorities also suspended Internet service, text messaging and most mobile phone networks across the Kashmir Valley to quell potential unrest.
Like the rest of India, the territory of Kashmir is under lockdown to combat the spread of the coronavirus. In recent weeks, however, Kashmir has witnessed its most significant spike in violence in months. Dozens of security personnel and militants have been killed in gunfights while India and Pakistan have traded mortars and small-arms fire across the unofficial frontier dividing the territory.