'Militants' Dead In Kashmir Clash
2 July 2005
Srinagar: At least six militants have been shot dead in a gun battle with Indian troops near the Line of Control in Indian administered Kashmir, officials say. The Indian army says that the 'infiltrators' were shot on Saturday while trying to cross mountains from Pakistani administered Kashmir. Lt Col DK Badolain said fierce fighting took place in Rajouri district. He said troops had launched an intensive operation to search for other militants who might be in the area. The Indian army says it has recovered arms and ammunition from the dead militants, whose identity has not yet been revealed. Last week police said that nine Indian troops were killed and 15 wounded in a bomb blast outside a tourist site in Srinagar, capital of Indian- controlled Kashmir. India and Pakistan have begun peace moves aimed at ending decades of dispute over divided Kashmir - a region both countries claim in its entirety. Delhi accuses Pakistan of sponsoring a violent uprising in Kashmir, a charge Islamabad denies. India says that over a dozen militant groups, mostly based in Pakistan, have been fighting security forces in Jammu-Kashmir since 1989 to carve out a separate homeland or merge the Himalayan region into Pakistan. But Pakistan says it has only given diplomatic support to militant groups in the past, and has now taken steps to ensure they no longer have bases in the country. More than 66,000 people have been killed in the Kashmir conflict.