The Indian army says five suspected rebels and four soldiers have been killed as gunbattles between troops and rebels rage for a fourth day in a forested region of Indian Kashmir.

Monday's deaths take the toll in the firefights to 19.

Lt. Col. J.S. Brar says the fighting started Friday morning when a combined force of Indian army and police began flushing out militants in the Shamsbari area.

Authorities had received a tip-off that militants were hiding in that area, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) north of Indian Kashmir's main city of Srinagar.

Brar says fierce fighting is continuing.