NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Four militants and a soldier were killed in two separate gun battles in Indian Kashmir on Wednesday, a police officer said, as violence in the disputed region continued following a spate of attacks on civilians.
More than 30 people have been killed after a rise in violence in Kashmir in recent weeks, including targeted killings of minority Hindus, Sikhs and migrant workers in the Muslim-dominated valley.
Kashmir valley’s police chief, Vijay Kumar, said three militants killed were involved in the recent target killing of migrant workers, while two Indian soldiers were injured and one died.
He said militants belonging to The Resistance Front, which Indian authorities believe is backed by Pakistan, have been behind the attacks on civilians.
Pakistan denies the charge that it supports the insurgency in Kashmir, saying it only provides diplomatic and moral support for the Kashmiri people.
Indian authorities have moved thousands of migrant workers in Kashmir to safer locations, while hundreds have fled the Himalayan valley after a wave of targeted killings.
The Himalayan region is claimed in full but ruled only in part by nuclear-armed neighbours India and Muslim-majority Pakistan.
(Writing by Aftab Ahmed; Editing by Sandra Maler)