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Seven killed in Kashmir gun battles - police
SRINAGAR, India |
SRINAGAR, India (Reuters) - Seven people were killed on Sunday in clashes between security forces and militants in Indian Kashmir, police said.
Police said militants forced their way into the home of a political activist in a village in Samba district, about 400 km south of Srinagar, Kashmir's main city, and killed the man and his wife.
The militants then moved on to another house, where they were surrounded by Indian soldiers. A local photojournalist, a villager and a soldier were killed in the 12-hour gun battle, police said.
Senior police officer Farooq Ahmed said two militants were killed.
"The security force stormed the house and rescued six hostages, including two children," Ahmed told Reuters by phone.
At least 12 people were wounded in the incident, two days after troops foiled attempts by suspected militants to cross into Indian territory from Pakistan.
Indian officials say separatist militants fighting New Delhi's rule in the divided Himalayan region are trying to cross the border from Pakistani Kashmir, although violence has dropped after the neighbours launched a peace process in 2004.
In a separate incident, soldiers shot dead two militants in the Kupwara area on Sunday, north of Srinagar, police said.
Officials say more than 43,000 people have been killed since a revolt against New Delhi's rule broke out in 1989. Human rights groups put the toll at about 60,000 dead or missing.
(Additional Reporting by Ashok Pahalwan in Jammu)
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