Three rebels, one soldier killed in Kashmir clash
Three separatist militants and one soldier were killed in a clash in India-administered Kashmir, police said Monday.
One army major, a policeman and one civilian were wounded during the combat in the Shara Wali forest of Rajouri district, about 200 kilometres north-west of the state's winter capital Jammu.
The armed clash began on Saturday and continued for over 50 hours, senior police official Shabbir Chowdhary said.
"At the close of the operation, a total of three militants belonging to the Lashkar-e-Taiba were killed," he said, adding a soldier also died in combat.
"The injured are being treated at local hospitals."
The slain militants were believed to be part of a group involved in the attack on a passenger bus in the district last week that killed two civilians and injured 18 others.
Security officials expect a rise in violence in the state after the Indian army claimed that scores of militants were waiting to cross from Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
Businesses, markets and schools remained closed across the Kashmir valley as separatist leaders called for a shutdown and authorities imposed a curfew in some areas.
Over the past two months, the Muslim-majority region has been rocked by clashes between protestors and security forces that have left 57 civilians dead.
India accuses Pakistan of backing militants and encouraging separatist leaders to foment trouble in India-administered Kashmir, a charge that Islamabad denies.
The two countries have fought two wars over the disputed Kashmir region. More than 45,000 people have died in the secessionist strife in India-administered Kashmir since the late 1980s.