Officials say four suspected rebels and two Indian army soldiers have been killed in a fierce gunbattle in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

Police Inspector-General Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gillani says fighting began early Saturday after police and soldiers cordoned off southern Frisal village following a tip that militants were hiding in a civilian house.

The Indian army said three soldiers were also injured in the fighting.

Kashmir is divided between nuclear rivals India and Pakistan. Both counties claim the disputed territory in its entirety.

Rebels have been fighting against Indian rule since 1989. More than 68,000 people have been killed in the uprising and Indian military crackdown.