SRINAGAR, India – The Indian army says it has killed seven rebels in a gunbattle in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.
Army spokesman Lt. Col. Nitin Narhar Joshi says the fighting erupted Monday after Indian soldiers came under rebel gunfire while patrolling the forested region of Kupwara.
The report could not be independently verified.
He said the soldiers suffered no casualties and troops are searching for other suspected rebels in the region. The area is about 150 kilometers (95 miles) northwest of Srinagar, the main city in Indian-controlled Kashmir.
Since 1989, an armed uprising and a subsequent crackdown by Indian forces have killed an estimated 68,000 people. Although the armed rebellion is largely suppressed, resentment against Indian rule runs deep and is mainly expressed through street protests.