Suspected rebels in India-administered Kashmir abducted and killed a military officer who was home on leave for a wedding, the army said on Wednesday.
Villagers found Ummer Faiyaz’s body early Wednesday, a day after he was snatched by unidentified men at his cousin’s wedding. “Some unidentified terrorists yesterday abducted and then killed a young unarmed army officer,” an army statement said.
The killing comes amid an upsurge in violence in the disputed Himalayan region, where rebels opposed to Indian rule have repeatedly attacked government forces and banks in recent weeks.
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British rule in 1947 but both claim the territory in its entirety. Around 500,000 Indian soldiers are deployed in India-administered Kashmir, making it one of the most heavily militarized places in the world. Many local people deeply resent their presence.
Officials say the ranks of rebel groups fighting for independence have swelled since last July when the killing of a popular rebel leader by government forces sparked months of unrest across the territory that left more than 100 people dead. Last week the Indian army launched a massive search operation in southern Kashmir to hunt for militants.
Rights groups condemned the soldier’s killing, saying it went against international humanitarian law. “Deliberate killing of captured soldiers constitutes human rights abuse. Perpetrators must be brought to justice,” Amnesty India posted on Twitter.