Eight Islamic Militants, Indian Soldier Killed In Kashmir
11 July 2005
Srinagar: Eight Islamic militants and an Indian army soldier were killed in fresh clashes in Indian Kashmir, army and police officials said. Indian troops pursuing Kashmiri rebels shot dead three militants in northern Baramulla district late Sunday, army spokesman Vijay Batra said. One of the slain militants was identified as Tanveer Abbasi, whose alias is Gazali. 'Gazali was serving as chief financial controller of the Harkat-ul-Mujahedin militant group,' Batra told AFP on Monday. Harkat is one of a dozen rebel groups fighting Indian troops in a bid to split Kashmir from India and join it with neighbouring Pakistan or secure independence for the Himalayan region. India and Pakistan hold Kashmir in parts but claim it in full. They have fought two of their three wars over the region but during the past 19 months they have been engaged in a peace process to resolve their disputes. Two rebels, one of them the district commander of another hardline group, were killed by troops in another gunbattle in the southern district of Pulwama late Sunday, Batra said. Three more rebels and an Indian army soldier were also killed late Sunday in clashes in the adjoining southern districts of Rajouri and Doda, a police spokesman said. The violence came a day after India's Home Minister Shivraj Patil toured Indian Kashmir to review security arrangements for the ongoing annual Hindu pilgrimage to the cave shrine of Amarnath. In the past, the festival has been marred by attacks by militants. Kashmir is in the grip of a nearly 16-year-old insurgency that has left more than 44,000 people dead by official count. Separatists say the toll is twice as high.