SRINAGAR, India, (AP): Six suspected rebels and a soldier have been killed in two separate gunbattles in Indian-controlled Kashmir, the Indian army said Friday.
Army spokesman Col. Nitin N. Joshi said Friday that four militants and a soldier were killed in two days of fierce fighting near the heavily militarized line of control dividing the disputed Himalayan region between India and Pakistan.
Joshi said the soldier and a militant were killed on Friday while three militants were killed Thursday after they were intercepted as they entered the Indian side from Pakistani Kashmir
There was no independent confirmation. No rebel group fighting Indian rule immediately issued a statement.
Joshi said two other rebels were killed in western Khonshipora village Friday after soldiers and police launched a joint operation on a specific tip, leading to exchange of gunfire.
Anti-India protests erupted in the adjoining villages as locals tried to rally in support of the militants. Raising pro-freedom slogans, some protesters clashed with police who lobbed tear gas to quell the protests.
No one was immediately reported injured.
Rebels have been fighting against Indian rule since 1989. More than 68,000 people have been killed in the uprising and Indian military crackdown.
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