In this June 30, 2017 file photo, Indian paramilitary soldiers stand guard at a temporary checkpoint during a curfew in downtown area of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin, File)
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Al-Qaeda said for the first time it is active in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir, announcing Thursday on a linked propaganda network that a militant from an indigenous rebel group would lead a new outfit of fighters opposing Indian rule in the disputed region.Musa recently left Kashmir's largest indigenous rebel group, Hizbul Mujahideen, and is believed to have been joined by less than a dozen others.Separatist leaders, who challenge India's sovereignty over Kashmir, have repeatedly rejected the presence of outside groups, including al-Qaeda, and have accused India of portraying the Kashmiri struggle as extremist.Rebel groups have been fighting against Indian rule since 1989 .Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Kashmir's mostly Muslim population, with most people supporting the rebels' cause against Indian rule.
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