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6 suspected rebels, 2 officers killed in gunbattle in Indian Kashmir

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SRINAGAR, India — Six suspected rebels and two Indian troops were killed in two separate attacks in Indian Kashmir, police and army officials said Wednesday.

The first attack occurred after soldiers intercepted a group of heavily armed militants entering the Indian side of the disputed Himalayan region from the Pakistani section in the Handwara region, said army spokesman Lt. Col. Nitin N. Joshi.

Three rebels were killed in addition to three slain on Tuesday when the fighting started, Joshi added.

An army officer speaking on customary condition of anonymity said an army officer was also killed and a soldier wounded.

There was no independent confirmation of the fighting and no rebel group fighting Indian rule has immediately issued any statement.

Rebels have been fighting against Indian rule since 1989. More than 68,000 people have been killed in the uprising and Indian military crackdown.

Suspected rebels also hurled a grenade at a group of paramilitary soldiers and police in the Pulwama area on Wednesday, police said. A paramilitary officer was killed and four soldiers, a policeman and a civilian wounded in that attack.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan. They have fought three wars, two of them over control of Kashmir, since they won independence from British colonial rule in 1947.

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