Indian Army Says Kills Eight Militants In Kashmir
8 October 2006
Srinagar: The Indian army said on Sunday its soldiers shot dead eight suspected Muslim militants as they tried to cross into Indian Kashmir from Pakistan. An officer and a soldier were also killed in the two separate gunbattles in Gurez and Poonch areas along the Line of Control (LoC), a de facto border splitting Kashmir between India and Pakistan. 'We have foiled two infiltration attempts and killed eight militants along the LoC,' an army spokesman told Reuters. The encounter at Poonch, 450 km (280 miles) southwest of Srinagar, the state's summer capital, occurred on Sunday morning while clashes at Gurez, 120 km (75 miles) to the north, began on Saturday night and were continuing more than 12 hours later. Indian authorities say violence in the disputed Himalayan region has steadily decreased since India and Pakistan, who have fought two wars over Kashmir, began a peace process in 2004. But on average, half-a-dozen people are still killed every day in shootouts and explosions. More than 45,000 people have been killed since a separatist revolt began against Indian rule in Kashmir in 1989.