3 militants, Indian commando killed in fighting in Kashmir

Police say at least three suspected militants and an army commando have been killed in two separate gunbattles in disputed Kashmir.

Police said fighting erupted in the northwestern area of Handwara on Tuesday after Indian troops killed three militants during a counterinsurgency operation.

In another operation in the neighboring Kupwara area, a special forces soldier was killed in a continuing gunbattle.

At least eight rebels, a soldier and a policeman have been killed in the last two days.

Nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan both claim Kashmir in its entirety.

Rebel groups demand that Kashmir be united under Pakistani rule or as an independent country. India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the rebels, which Pakistan denies.

Anti-India sentiment runs deep in the region and most people support the rebels' cause.