Indian army kills two rebels in Kashmir

SRINAGAR: Indian troops Wednesday shot dead two suspected militants as they tried to enter Indian Kashmir from the Pakistani side of the disputed state, the army said.

The militants' attempt to enter the strife-torn region came a day after Pakistani hardliners vowed to wage a holy war to liberate the Himalayan region from Indian control.

The rebels were killed in the northern Keran sector, an army spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel J.S. Brar, told AFP.

"We have foiled an infiltration bid along the LOC (Line of Control)," he said, referring to the de facto border that splits Kashmir between nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan.

India accuses Pakistan of arming and funding Kashmiri militants, a charge Islamabad denies.

Rebels continue to sneak in despite a fence erected by the Indian army and a pledge by Islamabad that it would do its best to prevent militant infiltration into Indian Kashmir.

The 20-year-old Muslim insurgency in Indian Kashmir has claimed more than 47,000 lives, though violence has declined since an India-Pakistan peace dialogue started in 2004.