Indian troops have shot and killed four suspected fighters as they tried to enter the Indian-administered zone of divided Kashmir from Pakistan, a military spokesman has said.
Lieutenant Colonel JS Brar said on Friday that the four heavily-armed fighters were killed in a gun battle in Kashmir’s Keran region, about 150km from the summer capital Srinagar.
“An infiltration bid was foiled by the troops on the line of control by killing the four militants,” Brar said, referring to the heavily-militarised de facto border dividing the Indian and Pakistani zones of the Himalayan region.
“This is a desperate attempt to ensure maximum infiltration by the other side, before the traditional routes of infiltration close due to snow,” the spokesman said.
“The Indian Army will ensure that none of these efforts succeed.”
Friday’s killing followed an attack late last month by gunmen on a Srinagar hotel, after they aborted an attempt to ambush an Indian army convoy.
One person was killed and two others injured in the encounter.
Separatist violence that has wrecked the tourism industry in the Muslim-majority region has been at its lowest ebb since a revolt against Indian rule began in 1989.
Kashmir has been at the core of the acrimonious relationship between India and Pakistan over the past six decades.
The nuclear-armed neighbours have fought two of their three wars since 1947 over the disputed territory, which is claimed by both in full, but ruled in parts.
About 50,000 people have been killed in the violence over the past two decades.