…As Truck crushes four traders to death in Ibadan***
Suspected rebels attacked a police post in Indian-administered Kashmir Tuesday killing four officers, police said, two days after soldiers killed two teenage rebels in the restive territory.
In the latest incident of the region’s bloodiest year since 2009, the assailants mounted a surprise attack in Zainpora village of southern Kashmir valley and stole four rifles.
They killed three police officers instantly and critically wounded another, police official Swayam Prakash Pani told AFP. The fourth died later at a military hospital.
“They (militants) fled the spot with four service rifles from the policemen,” Pani said.
Militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility.
Muhammad Hassan, calling himself the Pakistan-based group’s spokesman, issued a statement to a local news agency saying its cadres killed three “Indian forces” and critically wounded several.
Officials say militants have snatched at least 270 weapons, most of them automatic assault rifles, from police officers during similar attacks since 2014. Around 70 have been taken since July 2016.
Kashmir-based rights monitors say more than 500 people have died this year from armed conflict in the disputed Himalayan territory claimed in full by both India and Pakistan, including some 150 civilians.
On Sunday Indian troops shot dead a 14-year-old, the youngest-ever fighter killed in the insurgency, and two other militants including a 17-year-old in a shootout outside the city of Srinagar.
Several militant groups, including JeM, have for decades been fighting about 500,000 Indian soldiers deployed in the territory New Delhi controls, seeking independence for Kashmir or its merger with Pakistan.
According to a prominent monitoring group, the fighting has left more than 70,000 dead, mostly civilians, since 1989.
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the Partition of the subcontinent in 1947.
In the meantime, four traders were on Monday crushed to death on the Ibadan-Oyo Expressway when a truck rammed a taxi conveying them at a failed portion of the road.
Several portions of the road have become deplorable as travellers agonise daily over the condition of the road.
The accident made other motorists to shed tears upon seeing the victims lying lifeless on the road.
The accident, which occurred near the overhead bridge in Akinyele area of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, our correspondent gathered, happened when the truck rammed the taxi, which slowed down to navigate its way through the failed portion.
Eyewitnesses said the accident was caused by the failure of the truck’s brake, which made it impossible for the driver to avoid hitting the taxi.
The corpses of the deceased and two survivors, who sustained varying degrees of injury, were taken to the State Hospital, Adeoyo.
The accident, which occurred at about 12.15pm, caused gridlock on the busy road.
The Public Relations Officer, Federal Road Safety Corps, Oyo State, Mr Seun Onijala, confirmed the accident.
Onijala said a team of FRSC personnel in Akinyele had been dispatched to the scene as of press time, adding that normalcy would return within hours, and urged motorists not to panic about the traffic situation.
AFP with additional report from Punch