8 killed in fighting in Indian-held Kashmir

AP News
Posted: Sep 28, 2011 7:40 AM
8 killed in fighting in Indian-held Kashmir

At least eight people have died in three days of fierce fighting between rebels and government forces in Indian-controlled Kashmir, officials said Wednesday.

The fighting erupted Monday after soldiers and police raided a militant hide-out in Kralpora, a remote area about 80 miles (130 kilometers) north of Indian Kashmir's main city of Srinagar, army spokesman Lt. Col. J.S. Brar said.

He said five suspected rebels, two police and an army officer have been killed so far.

"It's a dense forested area and very difficult terrain. So it's taking a long time," Brar said.

There was no independent confirmation of the gunbattle.

In a separate incident, suspected rebels killed a policeman on guard duty in Srinagar on Wednesday, a police officer said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Police and paramilitary soldiers were hunting the assailants, the officer said.

The Himalayan region of Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan but is claimed by both.

Since 1989, an armed uprising in Indian Kashmir and subsequent crackdown by Indian forces have killed an estimated 68,000 people, mostly civilians.