June 30, 2006

India says kills 8 militants sneaking into Kashmir

SRINAGAR, India (Reuters) - India said its troops shot dead
eight suspected Islamist militants on Friday when they tried to
sneak into Indian Kashmir from the Pakistani side, the biggest
infiltration bid to be foiled this year.

The incursion attempt took place in the border district of
Kupwara, northwest of Srinagar, Indian Kashmir's summer
capital, an army spokesman said.

Eight infiltrators were killed earlier this month, also in
the Kupwara area.

"The encounter with infiltrators started at midnight near
the fence in Kern sector of Kupwara. The search operation
continues," spokesman Hemant Joneja said.

There was no immediate comment from militant groups
fighting against Indian rule in the disputed Himalayan region.

Indian security agencies say there has been a spurt of
violence and infiltration in the troubled region this summer
despite a slow-moving peace process between nuclear-armed India
and Pakistan.

The arch-rivals claim the region in full, rule it in parts
and have gone to war over it two times. The insurgency has
killed more than 45,000 people since it erupted in 1989, Indian
officials say.

Indian army chief J.J. Singh said troops would be
redeployed along the India-Pakistan military ceasefire line in
Kashmir based on intelligence inputs to counter infiltration.

"There is no requirement of extra troops," Press Trust of
India news agency quoted Singh as saying late on Thursday.

"It is just a question of positioning them, redeploying
them and making them more dynamic to check infiltration and
deal with terrorism."