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25 Dead in Kashmir Fighting



Indian troops say they have killed six more suspected militants in Indian-controlled Kashmir, bringing the death toll from several days of fierce gunbattles to 25.

Indian army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel J.S. Brar said the fighting ended Tuesday, with eight soldiers and 17 militants, killed since Friday in the Kupwara district. The area is close to the Line of Control that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

An army spokesman says troops began flushing out militants from the Shamsbari area Friday, sparking the longest and deadliest clash in the disputed region in recent months.

Muslim separatists in Kashmir have been fighting for independence or a merger with Pakistan since 1989. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the violence.

India and Pakistan began a slowly-implemented peace process in 2004. Two of their three wars have been fought over Kashmir.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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