Indian army kills four near Pakistan border in Kashmir

SRINAGAR, India (AFP) - Indian soldiers shot dead four suspected rebels Friday (Sept 18) near the heavily militarised border in Kashmir as they tried to sneak in from the Pakistani side of the divided territory, an army spokesman said.

The group of armed men were intercepted by Indian soldiers when they crossed the Line of Control (LoC) early morning in Gurez, about 130 kilometres (80 miles) north of the main city of Srinagar.

"The infiltration bid was foiled and the four terrorists were killed," Indian army spokesman Colonel N N Joshi told AFP.

India regularly accuses Pakistan of arming and training rebels to infiltrate what it sees as its territory.

Islamabad denies the allegation, saying it only provides diplomatic and moral support to the Kashmiri struggle for self-determination.

The South Asian nuclear-armed rivals have exchanged heavy mortar firing across the LoC almost daily for weeks, with two civilians killed Thursday on the Pakistani side, according to a Pakistani military statement.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. Both claim the Himalayan territory in full and have fought two wars over its control.

Both regularly accuse each other of breaching a border ceasefire they agreed on in 2003 and the conflict has left tens of thousands dead, mostly civilians.