6 suspected rebels, 1 army officer killed in gunbattle in Indian Kashmir

The Indian army says six suspected rebels and an army officer have been killed in a fierce gunbattle near the heavily militarized line of control dividing Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

Army spokesman Lt. Col. Nitin N. Joshi said Wednesday the fighting began after soldiers intercepted a group of heavily armed militants entering the Indian side of the disputed Himalayan region from the Pakistani section in the Handwara region.

Joshi says three rebels were killed in addition to three slain on Tuesday when the fighting started.

An army officer speaking on customary condition of anonymity says an army officer was also killed.

There was no independent confirmation of the fighting and no rebel group fighting Indian rule has immediately issued any statement.