By Zahid Rafiq
SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir (AA) – Four Indian Army soldiers — including an officer — and two militants were killed in a gunfight in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday.
The gunfight took place in Gurez Valley, located 180 kilometers (112 miles) west of capital Srinagar, near the Line of Control (LoC) — the de facto border that divides disputed region of Kashmir between India and Pakistan.
Col. Rajesh Kalia, the spokesman for Indian Defense Ministry in Kashmir, claimed it was an “infiltration bid” from across Pakistan that their soldiers has thwarted.
“They were confronted when they were seen attempting to infiltrate into our side of the LoC. In the ensuing gunfight, two terrorists were killed while two others are still trapped in the cordon laid around them,” Kalia said.
He also confirmed the killing of four Indian soldiers, including an officer of the rank of major.
Kalia said that the operation was still in progress.
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.
Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars — in 1948, 1965 and 1971 — two of them over Kashmir.
Also, in Siachen glacier in northern Kashmir, Indian and Pakistani troops have fought intermittently since 1984. A cease-fire came into effect in 2003.
Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have reportedly been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.