Fight against India joins 2 Kashmir teens in life and death

The anti-India unrest in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir has claimed the life of the youngest militant, a 14-year-old soccer player who was fatally shot fighting troops alongside his 16-year-old friend

HAJIN, India -- The anti-India unrest in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir has claimed the life of the youngest militant, a 14-year-old soccer player who was fatally shot fighting troops alongside his 16-year-old friend.

Their deaths in an 18-hour firefight in December come as hundreds of young Kashmiris join rebel groups, leading to a surge in attacks on government troops and pro-India Kashmiri politicians in the region, which is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed by both in its entirety.

Indian authorities have responded by stepping up counterinsurgency operations and cracking down on civilian protests, often responding to stone-pelting with live bullets.

A cousin of the 14-year-old Mudassir Rashid Parray says police tortured him for over two weeks in 2017. Police say they only counseled him to quit working with rebels.