Gun battle in Kashmir kills four Indian soldiers, three rebels

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Tensions in the disputed Himalayan region have escalated since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government scrapped Kashmir’s special status in August 2019 [Dar Yasin/AP]

Four Indian army soldiers and three rebels were killed in Kashmir, an Indian defence ministry spokesperson said, in the bloodiest gun battle in the disputed region since April.

An army patrol noticed suspicious movement along the Line of Control (LOC), the de facto border between India and Pakistan, in the early hours of Sunday, Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said.

“Army troops were rushed to the area and militant movement was tracked by surveillance devices. A heavy gun battle followed in which three militants were killed,” he said.

Four army soldiers were killed in the gun battle, he said.

This is the highest number of army casualties along the LOC in Kashmir since April.

Five Indian troops and an equal number of rebels were killed in April when armed individuals were confronted by Indian troops in the area.

 

India accuses Pakistan of arming and training rebels to attack Indian soldiers and other targets in the region, a charge Islamabad denies.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan, but the rivals each claim the region in its entirety.

The two countries have fought three wars, two of them over control of Kashmir, since British colonialists granted them independence in 1947.




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