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8 militants, police officer killed in Kashmir

From Mukhtar Ahmad, CNN
  • 5 infiltrators into India were killed
  • Three militants and an officer died
  • Four pro-independence protesters were wounded

Srinagar, Kashmir (CNN) -- Eight militants and a police officer were killed Friday in two gunfights in Indian-administered Kashmir, a defense spokesman said.

Defense spokesman Lt. Col J.S. Brar told CNN that Indian army troops foiled an infiltration bid on the Line of Control -- the de facto border between India and Pakistan -- as a group of militants tried to sneak into the India side from Pakistan territory.

"The group of militants was challenged, which triggered a gunfight at the end of which five infiltrating militants were killed in the Machil sector," Brar said.

In another gunfight in northern Kashmir's Akhal village, three militants and police officer were killed in a daylong encounter, according to the spokesman who said the Indian army killed 42 militants in Kashmir last month.

"Despite the prevailing law-and-order situation, the counterterrorism operations were conducted with surgical precision and professionalism despite threats to own lives, which resulted in no collateral damage to property or civilian lives. This is in consonance with the army's policy of conducting people-friendly operations," Brar said.

Friday's gunfights came as fresh clashes between pro-independence protesters and Indian security forces left four more wounded in violence that has claimed 106 lives since June 11.

Indian security forces fired weapons to disperse stone-pelting pro-independence protesters in north Kashmir's Baramulla and south Kashmir's Anantnag.

The injured were taken to hospitals for treatment, according to police.

Kashmir has been in the throes of anti-India unrest since June 11 despite government efforts to stabilize the situation.

Separatists have dismissed Indian efforts to defuse the crisis.