Kashmir gun battles kill 5 militants: Police

Afp May 20, 2010


An Indian policeman and five suspected militants, including two commanders wanted by the authorities, were killed in two separate gun battles in revolt-hit Kashmir, police said on Thursday.

The overnight clashes took place in the southern Pulwama and Doda districts, a police spokesman said in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian-ruled Kashmir.

"Among the dead were two militant commanders wanted by the security forces," the spokesman said.

Security officials have warned of a possible escalation in violence after the Indian military said that last month 400 militants were poised to cross into Indian Kashmir from the Pakistani zone of the disputed Himalayan region.

The insurgency against Indian rule in the region has left more than 47,000 people dead by official count since it erupted in 1989.

Violence dropped after India and Pakistan launched a peace process in 2004 but rebel attacks have escalated since the start of this year.