Troops 'kill Kashmir Militants'
1 August 2005
Srinagar: Six suspected militants have been killed in Indian-administered Kashmir in three separate encounters, defence officials say. Three were killed in a clash with an army patrol near the border town of Handwara and two more died in fighting near the southern town of Kulgam. The sixth died in an exchange with intelligence agents in Srinagar. There has been a sudden increase in violence in Kashmir in recent weeks after a period of relative peace. The Handwara clash is said to have begun late on Sunday and lasted till Monday morning. It is not clear if there were any casualties among the Indian soldiers. 'Both the [Handwara and Kulgam] clashes erupted when troops launched search operations against militants,' an army spokesman, Col Vijay Batra, said. The sixth suspected militant was killed when Indian intelligence agents chased a motor-cycle carrying two suspected insurgents in the state's summer capital, Srinagar. The men apparently refused to stop at a checkpoint and opened fire on the intelligence agents before speeding away. Journalists hurt On Saturday Security forces killed two militants in Srinagar after storming two buildings in which they were hiding. At least two soldiers were killed and several others injured in the intense battle, which raged for over 24 hours. The injured included several civilians and journalists who were caught in the exchange in the heart of the city. Violence has escalated after a period of relative calm following peace moves between India and Pakistan. The peace moves are aimed at ending decades of dispute over Kashmir - a region both countries claim in its entirety.