Asia-Pacific

Four militants killed in Indian Kashmir

Security forces in India-administered Kashmir have killed four militants as part of their scaled up anti-militancy operations, police said.

Four militants have been killed by security forces in India-administered Kashmir and arms and ammunition recovered from them, police said.

A joint team of the army, paramilitary and police were carrying out cordon and search operations in an orchard in Keegam area of the district when the militants opened fire.

"In the ensuing encounter, four militants were killed and the bodies have been retrieved from the site along with many rifles and ammunition," a Jammu and Kashmir Police spokesman said.

Indian security forces have scaled up anti-militancy operations in the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley.

Over 100 militants, most of them local youths and 23 foreign insurgents, have been killed in Kashmir in the first five months of 2019.

They include top commanders such as Zakir Musa, the chief of so-called Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, a group affiliated with al-Qaeda.

The four militants killed Sunday are believed to be affiliated with Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, police sources said.

The disputed Kashmir region is divided into two parts, one administered by India and the other by Pakistan.

India-administered Kashmir has seen a deadly secessionist movement since the 1980s. India claims Pakistan aids and abets Kashmiri militants, a charge the latter denies.

In February, India and Pakistan came to the brink of war after 40 Indian paramilitary troopers were killed in a car bomb attack by rebels in Pulwama district of Kashmir.

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