Officials say a fierce gunbattle has killed four Indian government forces and four suspected militants in disputed Kashmir.

Police say the fighting erupted after government forces cordoned off a forested village in northwestern Kupwara region on Tuesday following a tip that insurgents were hiding there.

The dead government forces consisted of two counterinsurgency police and two army soldiers. At least three police officials and a soldier were also wounded.

Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan each administer part of Kashmir, but both claim it in its entirety.

Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Kashmir, which in recent years has seen renewed rebel attacks and repeated public protests against Indian rule.

Rebels have been fighting Indian rule since 1989, demanding Kashmir be made part of Pakistan or become an independent country.