Kashmir Jihad Update. “Nine die in Kashmir gunfight,” from Agence France-Presse:
SRINAGAR, India – Five Islamic militants and four Indian soldiers were killed in a long gunbattle in Kashmir, officials said on Friday.
The militants and soldiers, including an army officer, were killed near the town of Patan, north of Kashmir’s main city Srinagar, a police spokesman said.
He said the fighting had started on Tuesday evening when Indian troops were attacked by a group of rebels.
“The attack sparked a gunbattle that lasted until Friday,” the spokesman said, adding around a dozen private homes were destroyed during the fighting and six soldiers injured.
It was the second major gunbattle in recent months. In October, nine rebels and two Indian officers were killed in the nearby township of Tangmarg.
Meanwhile, Indian troops have surrounded a hotel where at least two Islamic militants barricaded themselves in after attacking a police post, other officials said Friday.
Residents reported gunfire throughout the night and Friday.
“The militants took refuge inside a hotel Thursday evening,” police officer Imtiaz Hussain said. “We immediately ringed the four-storey hotel and evacuated civilians before launching an operation.”
Police said at least two policemen had been hurt in the incident.
Lashkar-e-Toiba, a hardline Kashmiri militant group known for its brazen attacks against the Indian army, said its fighters were involved in the