'Five Muslim Rebels Killed' On Kashmir Border

14 November 2009

Srinagar: Indian troops Saturday shot dead five suspected Islamic militants as they tried to enter Indian Kashmir from the Pakistani side of the disputed state, the army said. 'Indian troops have foiled a major attempt by militants to infiltrate into (Indian) Kashmir from across the Line of Control (LoC),' said army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel J.S. Brar. The heavily-militarised line divides Kashmir between nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan who both claim the whole territory and have fought two wars over it. 'So far five militants have been killed in (northern) Baramulla district during an operation that started Saturday evening,' he said, adding that the operation was still continuing. India accuses Pakistan of arming and funding Kashmiri militants, a charge Islamabad denies. Rebels continue to sneak in despite a fence erected by the Indian army and a pledge by Islamabad that it would do its best to prevent militant infiltration into Indian Kashmir. Kashmir is in the grip of a 20-year insurgency that has so far left more than 47,000 people dead by official count. India and Pakistan agreed to a ceasefire along the Line of Control border in 2003 and started a peace process in 2004 that resulted in sharp decline of violence in the region. But dialogue was stalled after last year's deadly attacks on Mumbai that India and the United States blamed on Pakistan's banned militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). The group has denied any involvement in the assault. Following the attacks, Pakistan pledged it would not allow its soil to be used to attack India.