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Gun battle kills four in India-held Kashmir

SRINAGAR: Fighting in India-held Kashmir killed two soldiers and two suspected rebels Friday, as representatives from India and Pakistan met to discuss security on the disputed frontier.

The deaths were the latest to occur in recent weeks, which have seen an upsurge in firing by both sides across the heavily militarised border.

Police said the fighting broke out late Thursday after the army received a tip-off regarding the presence of suspected militants in Laribal village, some 70 kilometres northwest of the main city of Srinagar.

“Two terrorists were killed and we lost two soldiers in the firefight with them,” the local deputy inspector general of police Gharib Das told AFP.

News of the latest deaths came as Pakistani paramilitary officials met India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi to discuss border security.

Several rebel groups have battled hundreds of thousands of Indian forces deployed in the region for independence or a merger with Pakistan in a conflict that has killed tens of thousands mostly civilians. Violence has declined steadily in the region in the last decade.

But armed encounters between rebels and troops have increased in recent weeks and last week four suspected rebels and a soldier were killed during a night-long battle.


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