Soldier, four suspected rebels killed in Indian-held Kashmir

SRINAGAR: Four suspected rebels and a soldier were killed in three separate clashes Monday in Indian-administered Kashmir, authorities said.


Government forces acting on a tip-off trapped three suspected insurgents in an alley and killed them near the town of Ashmuqam, 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of the main city of Srinagar.

The joint team of army, paramilitaries and police shot the militants after coming under fire from them, a police statement said.

“The encounter ended with the elimination of three militants of HM (Hizbul Mujahideen) outfit,” it said, adding they were all locals.

In a separate incident a suspected rebel was killed at Maniga, near the frontier town of Kupwara in the north of the Himalayan territory, during an army search of the forested area.

Police Superintendent Aijaz Ahmed said government forces were hunting a group who killed a special forces officer last week and injured two other soldiers.

One militant was killed during the operation and a search for others was continuing, Ahmed told AFP.

A soldier died in the early morning after his patrol came under fire in the Naoshera sector near the heavily militarised Line of Control that divides the disputed territory between India and Pakistan.

“In the ensuing firefight one soldier was injured and attained martyrdom while being evacuated to a military hospital,” said defence spokesman Manish Mehta.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. Both claim the territory in its entirety.

Several rebel groups have for decades been battling Indian forces, seeking independence or a merger of Kashmir with Pakistan.

Tens of thousands have died in the fighting, mostly civilians.