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> A young generation of Muslim rebels are changing the game in Indian-ruled Kashmir, creating a new security challenge in the troubled region. Better with a smartphone than an AK-47, they came to attention last year when they started posting pictures and speeches on social media, and calling Kashmiris to arms.
Their leader, 22-year-old, Burhan Wani, a commander of the separatist group, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen. Reuters, Doug Busvine, traveled to Kashmir to his hometown.>> These young men fighting for Kashmiri freedom are middle class and well-educated. They are not part of any global jihadi movement like Islamic State nor are they particularly good fighters, but they are popular.
There is huge public sympathy for them especially amongst disaffected youth.>> Recently, locals have started to defend their gunmen from police, pouring out on the streets and throwing rocks at them. Huge crowds have also turned out for their funerals. The separatist revolt first flared here in the 1990s.
India managed to contain it with a massive show of force. Now, analysts say the young militants' popularity could risk destabilizing the region again.>> Aides to Prime Minister Narendra Modi say the security operation to eliminate the militants will continue until the last man is taken out. Four of the ten gunmen who posed in a photo a year ago with Burhan Wani are now dead, but there's plenty more angry young men who are willing to take their place.
>> Human rights activists say the rebels are more interested in playing cat and mouse with security forces than starting any serious fighting in a region where the army outnumbers them 3,000 to 1.