Indian army: 3 soldiers, 1 rebel killed in Kashmir gunbattle

Indian army: 3 soldiers, 1 rebel killed in Kashmir gunbattle

SRINAGAR, India — Three Indian soldiers and a militant were killed Tuesday in a gunbattle in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir.

Army spokesman Col. Rajesh Kalia said the army launched an operation early Tuesday to flush out militants from a northern village following a tip that some rebels were hiding there. The soldiers had cordoned off Hajin village when a fierce gunbattle broke out in which three soldiers and a rebel were killed.

At least five other soldiers, including an army officer, were wounded in the firefight, Kalia said.

There was no independent confirmation of the incidents.

Both India and Pakistan claim the Himalayan territory in its entirety. Rebel groups in Indian-controlled Kashmir have been fighting for independence or a merger with Pakistan since 1989. More than 68,000 people have been killed in the fighting.

The Associated Press