Four killed in Kashmir as violence mars start of Ramadan

SRINAGAR, India, Aug 23, 2009 (AFP) - Indian troops killed four Muslim rebels in Kashmir in a violent start to the holy fasting month of Ramadan, officials said Sunday.

Two militants were shot dead at dawn in northern Kupwara district after they infiltrated into Indian Kashmir from the Pakistani zone of the divided state, an Indian army spokesman said.

Two others were killed overnight in the same district during a fierce gun battle.

The army has foiled more than a dozen attempts by militants to infiltrate into Indian Kashmir from the Pakistani zone since the start of August.

Police and paramilitary forces maintained a tight watch to prevent militant attacks on security targets as thousands of Muslims filled mosques for afternoon prayers.

Loudhailers relayed prayers to people who knelt in the street on rugs and prayer mats in the summer capital of Srinagar.

The insurgency against Indian rule in Kashmir has left more than 47,000 people dead since 1989. Human rights groups put the toll at 70,000 dead and missing.

Source: AFP

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