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Four Kashmir rebels killed, car-bomb makers' cell busted

INDIA: Indian troops shot dead four Islamic militants in Kashmir and arrested five others allegedly involved in making and setting off car bombs in the main city of Srinagar, the army said Monday.

The four were killed during two separate gunbattles in northern Kupwara district and southern Poonch district early Monday, said army spokesman Colonel Hemant Juneja. He said the fighting erupted when troops ringed two hideouts in the forest areas of the two districts bordering Pakistani Kashmir.

Meanwhile, the army and police in a joint operation arrested five members of the dominant rebel group Hizbul Mujahedin in Srinagar.

"The five were involved in preparing and detonating car bombs in Srinagar," an army statement said. This month there have been two car bomb explosions in Srinagar that injured over a dozen Indian soldiers and a few civilians. Hizbul claimed both attacks.

"The busting of the module is a big success for the security forces and a blow to the militants," the statement said, adding the rebels were detaiend while they were actually planting a bomb inside a stolen car. Kashmir is in the grip of a 16-year-old insurgency against Indian rule that has so far left more than 44,000 people dead by official count. Srinagar, Tuesday, AFP



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