Indian officials say five foreign militants killed in an operation in Kashmir

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Indian police said security forces killed five foreign militants early on Friday in a gunfight in Kashmir along the Line of Control (LOC), the de facto border with Pakistan in the Himalayan region.

A joint team of Indian army and police prevented infiltration across the border by the militants, police said.

“Five foreign militants were killed in the operation in Jumagund area near the LOC. The search operation in the area is going on,” said Vijay Kumar, the chief of Indian police in Kashmir. He did not specify their nationalities.

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Claimed in full by both India and Pakistan but only controlled in parts by the nuclear-armed neighbors, Muslim-majority Kashmir has been the site of a bloody insurrection against New Delhi since the 1990s.

Hindu-majority India says Pakistan, an Islamic state, supports the militancy in Kashmir. Islamabad denies this, saying it only provides diplomatic and moral support to the Kashmiri people.

Ashok Yadav, a senior Indian security official deployed for the security of the border, said last week that the melting of snow in the mountains might open traditional infiltration routes along the LOC.

The Indian army said it has also foiled two infiltration attempts since Thursday.

Indian Army spokesperson Devender Anand said in one instance, troops challenged the infiltrators, but they managed to escape under the cover of darkness, bad weather and thick foliage.

“A large cache of arms and ammunition left by fleeing infiltrators was recovered during a search of the area,” he said.

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