Indian soldiers kill five rebels in Kashmir - army

2017-06-09 22:30
A Kashmiri protestor throws back a teargas canister at Indian government forces during clashes in Srinagar on June 9, 2017. (AFP)

A Kashmiri protestor throws back a teargas canister at Indian government forces during clashes in Srinagar on June 9, 2017. (AFP)

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Srinagar - Indian soldiers killed five suspected rebels on Friday in a shoot-out near the de facto border that divides disputed Kashmir with Pakistan, the army said.

Troops deployed along the heavily militarised frontier known as the Line of Control (LOC) shot and killed the suspected fighters when they tried to cross into Indian-administered Kashmir.

An operation to counter the infiltration bid was still underway in Uri, some 100km northwest of the summer capital of Kashmir, the army said in a statement.

The deaths came a day after Indian soldiers killed three suspected rebels in an exchange of fire, which also killed one soldier.

Earlier in the week Indian troops killed three combatants as they tried to cross into the territory.

India regularly accuses Pakistan of arming militants and pushing them across the LoC to launch attacks on its forces.

Islamabad denies the allegation, saying it only provides diplomatic support to Kashmiris seeking self-determination.

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

Rebel groups have for decades been fighting the around 500 000 Indian soldiers deployed in the territory. They are demanding independence from India, or a merger of the Himalayan region with Pakistan.

Armed encounters between rebels fighting against Indian rule of Kashmir and soldiers have become more frequent since last July when security forces killed a popular rebel commander.

Officials say dozens of youths have joined the ranks of the rebels, who enjoy renewed public support.

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