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Nine militants, three soldiers killed in clashes in Indian Kashmir

Nine militants, three soldiers killed in clashes in Indian Kashmir

DPA
Srinagar, Kashmir
Nine militants and three soldiers were killed in two separate gun battles in restive India-administered Kashmir, Indian defence officials said on Sunday.
Indian forces killed five insurgents after they infiltrated the Line of Control (LoC), a de facto border, that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan, army spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said.
Three soldiers were also killed in the battle, which took place in the Keran sector of northern Kashmir, he added.
This was the second battle in the troubled region in the past 24 hours.
On Saturday night, four militants were killed in another clash with security forces in the Kulgam town.
The clashes come amid a nationwide lockdown in India designed to check the spread of the new coronavirus.
Indian state police said that, while medical workers and doctors were fighting the coronavirus, Indian security forces were fighting the “terror virus from Pakistan.” 
India accuses Pakistan of aiding the militants and helping them cross the border to carry out attacks in India-administered Kashmir.
Islamabad denies the charges and describes the militants as freedom fighters. 
The nuclear-armed neighbours both claim the divided Kashmir region in its entirety and have fought two wars over it.
The police identified the slain militants as members of Pakistan-based Islamist militant groups, the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Hizbul Mujahideen, who, they said, were responsible for “half a dozen senseless killings of civilians over last few weeks.”
More than 45,000 people - civilians, security personnel and militants - have been killed since a secessionist militant movement broke out in India-administered Kashmir in the 1980s.

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