At least four suspected militants were killed in a gunbattle with government troops Saturday after crossing into the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir from the Pakistani side of the disputed territory, the Indian military said.
Fighting began early Saturday when soldiers intercepted heavily armed insurgents along the highly militarized de facto border that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan, said Col. Rajesh Kalia, an Indian army spokesman.
Kalia said the operations were still ongoing in the area. He said soldiers suffered no casualties.
There was no independent confirmation of the gunbattle, which occurred in the remote, mountainous and forested northwestern Tangdhar sector.
No rebel group fighting against Indian rule since 1989 has immediately issued any statement about the incident.
Rebel groups demand that Kashmir be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country. India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the rebels, which Pakistan denies.
Anti-India sentiment runs deep in the region, and most people support the rebels’ cause against Indian rule while also participating in civilian street protests against Indian control.
Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian military crackdown.unb