15 killed as militants clash with security forces in Indian Kashmir
(dpa) - At least 12 Islamic militants and three government troops were killed
in combat near India's de facto border with Pakistan in disputed Kashmir, officials said Saturday, dpa reported.
The clash started on Thursday night when soldiers intercepted a group of armed rebels who had crossed the Line of Control into northern Kupwara district in India-administered Kashmir.
"Twelve militants, a colonel and two soldiers of the Indian army were killed in the gunbattle which went on for more than 36 hours," Lieutenant Colonel AK Mathur said.
Recent intelligence reports have indicated a steep increase in infiltration attempts by militants across the line of control aided by Pakistani border forces, officials said.
India and Pakistan have fought two wars over the Kashmir region.
India has accused Pakistan of aiding and abetting Kashmiri militants. Pakistan rejectes the allegations and calls Kashmiri militants freedom fighters.
More than 40,000 civilians, militants and government troops have died in the secessionist movement in India-administered Kashmir since the late 1980s.