At least four Indian soldiers and two fighters have been killed in a gunfight at the so-called Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir, according to the Indian army.
The armed confrontation erupted on Tuesday after a group of rebels crossed from Pakistan-administered Kashmir into the Indian-administered portion in Gurez valley, Colonel Rajesh Kalia, spokesman for the Indian defence ministry in Kashmir, said in a statement.
He said the “infiltration bid” was foiled and two rebels killed in the clash.
“They were confronted when they were seen attempting to infiltrate into our side of the LoC,” Kalia said.
Gurez is located 180km west of the capital Srinagar, near the so-called Line of Control (LoC) – the de facto border that separates the Indian and Pakistan-administered parts of Kashmir.
Among the army’s fatalities was an officer of the rank of major, Kalia said. There was no independent confirmation of the incident.
Rebels have been fighting Indian control in Kashmir since 1989. India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the rebels – a charge Pakistan denies.
Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian military crackdown.
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since independence from Britain in 1947.
The mountainous region has a long history of conflict and is one of the most heavily militarised places on Earth.
It is home to dozens of armed groups fighting for independence or a merger of the territory with Pakistan.
Since 2015, cross-border violence has been growing. According to India’s Ministry of Home Affairs, 1,250 ceasefire violations have been recorded in the first five months of this year, compared with 971 such violations last year.
Thousands of people have been displaced from the villages near the LoC.
In May, the militaries from India and Pakistan agreed to honour the 2003 ceasefire agreement in “letter and spirit”.
That deal has largely held in the past decade despite tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals.
But the latest pledge crumbled within days as both countries accused each other of deadly attacks.
India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars since 1947 over Kashmir, which both countries claim in full.