Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is in Kashmir, hours after soldiers killed two suspected separatists near the stadium where the Indian leader plans to deliver a speech Wednesday.

The rebels were killed in a gunbattle that broke out in Kashmir's summer capital, Srinagar, after troops surrounded a building where authorities had learned the militants had taken up positions.

After arriving in Kashmir under heavy security for a two-day visit, Mr. Singh visited a Muslim holy site and spoke to students at a medical college. He repeated his offer to hold talks with all Kashmiri separatist groups in an effort to resolve their decades-old dispute.

Earlier, Indian troops began pulling out of Kashmir in the first phase of a gradual withdrawal of half the soldiers stationed there.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.