J&K Encounter with Jihadis- Eight Soldiers Martyred

published on March 24, 2009

Four out of five J&K encounters over, toll mounts to 25

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/JK-encounter-toll-rises-to-24-Army/articleshow/4310263.cms

SRINAGAR: Troops in Kashmir shot dead five militants on Tuesday,
bringing the death toll on both sides from several days of forest
gunbattles to 24,the army said.

An army statement said eight soldiers and 16 rebels have so far died in
the fighting in Kupwara district close to the Line of Control that
divides the Indian and Pakistani-controlled parts of the Himalayan
region.

The gunfights were first reported on Saturday and followed a
cross-border incident involving Indian and Pakistani troops that left
one Indian soldier injured.

Pakistan and India agreed to a ceasefire along the Line of Control in 2003 and have since held slow-moving peace negotiations.

But the peace process ground to a halt following November’s Islamist
militant attacks on Mumbai that India has blamed on the Pakistan-based
Lashkar-e-Taiba.

India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over mainly
Muslim Kashmir, which is held in part by each country but claimed in
full by both.

The funeral of one of the Indian troops killed in the fighting was also
held on Tuesday, with the event well-attended, witnesses said, even
though it is rare for residents of Kashmir to honour those fighting for
India.

The dead soldier, a Shiite Muslim from a village northeast of Srinagar,
died on Monday during heavy exchange of fire with rebels.

Kashmir is in the grip of a nearly two-decade-old insurgency against
Indian rule that has left more than 47,000 people dead, according to
official figures.

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