SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Kashmiri militants kidnapped and fatally shot an Indian army officer who was visiting home in the disputed Himalayan region, the Indian military said Wednesday.
The 23-year-old lieutenant was kidnapped Tuesday night while attending a relative's wedding in the southern Shopian area, said army spokesman Col. Rajesh Kalia. His bullet-riddled body was recovered Wednesday morning, he said.
Kalia said the officer was unarmed.
There was no independent confirmation of the incident and no rebel group fighting against Indian rule issued any statement.
Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the fighting since 1989 and in the ensuing Indian crackdown.
Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and both claim the territory in its entirety.
Last week, thousands of Indian government forces cordoned off at least two dozen villages in the Shopian area while they hunted for rebels believed to be hiding in the area. The operation was called off after about 10 hours without finding any rebels.
India has accused Pakistan of arming and training the rebels, which Pakistan denies. The nuclear-armed nations have fought two wars over their rival claims to the territory.
Rebel groups have largely been suppressed by Indian forces in recent years. However, public opposition to Indian rule remains deep and is now principally expressed through street protests marked by youths hurling stones at government forces.