SRINAGAR, July 23 (1997):Eight separatist guerrillas were killed on Wednesday in a six-hour gunbattle with Indian army soldiers in the troubled Jammu and Kashmir state, an army spokesman said.
“Army troops, acting on specific information, laid siege to a forest near Nagri Malpur in Kupwara on Wednesday morning and started search operations,” the spokesman told Reuters.
“The hiding militants opened fire and in the ensuing six-hour encounter eight militants including two foreign mercenaries were killed,” he said. “The search operation is still in progress,” he added.
Nagri Malpur lies in the dense forests of Kupwara 87 km (54 miles) north of Srinagar, near the Pakistan border. Srinagar is the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, where Moslem separatists have been waging a seven-year-old rebellion.
Pakistan denies Indian charges that it arms separatists in the disputed region over which both countries have fought two wars since their independence from Britain in 1947.
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