Top militant commander among four killed in Indian Kashmir
Security forces on Friday shot and killed three suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants, including a top commander, in India-administered Kashmir, police said.
A soldier was also killed in the eight-hour firefight in a forested region in Doda district, 200 kilometres north-east of the state's winter capital of Jammu, senior police official Hemant Lohia said.
The Indian army's elite Rashtriya Rifles troops launched an operation late Thursday after a tip-off that militants were hiding in the area, reported dpa.
"Three LeT militants including Iqbal Malik, the district's LeT commander were killed in the gun battle that continued until Friday morning," Lohia said.
Police said Malik, one of the most wanted militants in the state, was active in the district for the last 10 years.
Pakistan-based LeT is among the major militant outfits operating in India-administered Kashmir.
Militants from the group are also believed to have carried attacks in other parts of India including the recent strike in Mumbai that claimed over 170 lives.
India accuses Pakistan of training militants and helping Kashmiri rebels to foment trouble in Indian Kashmir, a charge Islamabad denies. The two countries have fought two wars over the disputed Kashmir region.
More than 40,000 people have died in the secessionist strife in India-administered Kashmir since the late 1980s.