Six rebels, three troops killed in Kashmir combat
At least six suspected Muslim militants and three security personnel were killed in separate gunbattles in India-administered Kashmir, officials said Saturday, dpa reported.
Two army soldiers, one policeman and four rebels died in fighting in a forested area of Poonch region, 270 kilometres west of the state's winter capital Jammu, defence spokesman Colonel SM Acharya said.
"The gunbattle began on Thursday night after militants opened fire on a joint army and police team which was carrying out search operations in the forests following information that rebels were hiding there," Acharya said.
In another clash in the Sopore district in northern Kashmir, two militants belonging to the Jaish-e-Mohammed were killed Friday evening.
Police said one of the rebels was a Pakistani national identified as Abu Bakhti. Two automatic rifles and ammunition were recovered from the scene.
The disputed Kashmir region is divided into two parts, one administered by India the other by Pakistan. The two countries have fought two wars over the disputed region.
More than 45,000 people have died in violence since violent secessionist militant movement emerged in the 1980s.
India has repeatedly accused Pakistan of aiding Kashmiri militants. Islamabad has denied the charge, calling the insurgents freedom fighters.