Indian army: 3 soldiers, 1 rebel killed in Kashmir gunbattle

SRINAGAR: The Indian army says three soldiers and a militant were killed in a gunbattle in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir.

Col. Rajesh Kalia says the army launched an operation Tuesday to flush out militants from a northern village following a tip that some rebels were hiding there. He says soldiers had cordoned off Hajin village when a fierce gunbattle broke out in which three soldiers and a rebel were killed.

At least five other soldiers, including an army officer, were wounded in the firefight.

There was no independent confirmation of the incidents.

Rebel groups in Indian-controlled Kashmir have been fighting for independence or a merger with Pakistan since 1989. More than 68,000 people have been killed in the fighting.