February 2008 News

Seven Die In Indian Kashmir Clash: Police

2 February 2008
Agence France-Presse

Srinagar: Four Islamic militants and three members of the Indian security forces were killed in a gunbattle near the de facto border dividing Kashmir between India and Pakistan, police said Sunday. The clash occurred at Balnoi in southern Poonch district late Saturday after police and troops sighted a group of militants who crossed into Indian Kashmir from the Pakistani side. 'The militants managed to enter (Indian) Kashmir after ripping open a barbed-wire fence,' a police officer said. 'They were sighted in Balnoi and later engaged in a gunbattle by the security forces that left four infiltrators, two policeman and a soldier dead,' he said. India has built a massive barbed wire fence along the Line of Control (LoC) - the de facto border dividing Kashmir between nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan which have fought two of their three wars over the Himalayan region. India accuses Pakistan of arming and pushing Kashmiri rebels into the Indian zone of Kashmir where an insurgency has raged since 1989. Pakistan says it is doing its best to prevent militant infiltrations. Violence has decreased sharply in Indian Kashmir since the two countries started a peace process in 2004 to resolve all pending disputes including Kashmir. The unrest has so far left more than 42,000 people dead by official count. Human rights groups put the toll at 60,000 dead and 10,000 missing.

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