Five militants, Indian army officer die in Kashmir clash
SRINAGAR: An Indian army lieutenant and five suspected militants were killed Saturday in a clash along the de facto border that splits Kashmir between India and Pakistan, the army said.
The fighting erupted in the northern Gurez district when a group of “heavily-armed militants tried to infiltrate” into Indian-administered Kashmir from the Pakistani zone of the divided Muslim-majority territory, the army said.
“We have killed five militants so far and the operation is still on,” Indian army spokesman J.S. Brar told AFP.
He said an army lieutenant was also killed and two soldiers injured during “heavy exchange of fire” that started early Saturday.
“By killing the militants we have foiled a major attempt by militants to enter (Indian-administered) Kashmir,” Brar said.
India says it regularly intercepts militants sneaking into Indian-administered Kashmir to fight New Delhi’s rule in the scenic Himalayan region.
Pakistan denies Indian allegations it helps the insurgents cross into Indian-administered Kashmir.
India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over Muslim-majority Kashmir which each country holds in part but claims in full.
The insurgency against New Delhi’s rule has left more than 47,000 people dead since 1989, according to an official count.
The violence has sharply decreased since India and Pakistan started a peace process in 2004. But over the past month, the Indian army has accused militants of making repeated bids to infiltrate into Kashmir.