The Indian military says soldiers have killed at least four suspected militants in a gunbattle after they crossed into the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir from the Pakistani side of the disputed territory.

The military says fighting began early Saturday when soldiers intercepted a heavily armed group of insurgents along the highly militarized de facto border that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

There's no independent confirmation of the incident, which occurred in the remote, mountainous and forested northwestern Tangdhar sector.

Rebel groups have been fighting since 1989 and demand that Kashmir be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.

Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian military crackdown since 1989.