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India to Reduce Troop Deployment in Indian Kashmir

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has announced a troop reduction in Indian Kashmir in the coming months (this winter), saying the situation there has improved.

A statement issued by his office says that security forces have been able to improve security in Indian Kashmir.

India has close to 150,000 troops in the Himalayan region, where Muslim militants have been fighting for independence or a merger with Pakistan since 1989. The statement did not say how many troops will be withdrawn.

An Indian official said the move is aimed at helping the ongoing peace process with Pakistan and must be seen as another confidence-building step taken by India.

Pakistan's foreign office was quick to welcome the Indian move, saying it is a step in the right direction.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.