Two Indian soldiers killed in Kashmir shooting

SRINAGAR: Two died on Wednesday in a shooting with suspected militants along the border that divides the disputed territory of Kashmir between the Indian and Pakistani archrivals, authorities said.

The two were killed during an operation to intercept Pakistani infiltrators trying to cross the heavily militarized border into India, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

The operation was still in progress, army spokesman Lt. Col. Devender Anand said in a statement.

An armed rebellion against the Indian government has been unleashed for decades in Kashmir and has left tens of thousands dead, mostly civilians.

New Delhi accuses Pakistan of arming and training anti-Indian rebels and sending them across the border to launch attacks against Indian forces.

Islamabad denies the charge and says it only provides diplomatic support for the 'right to self-determination.

Kashmir administered by India has been tense since New Delhi revoked the semi-autonomous status of the region in August and imposed a security and communications blockade.

Since then, some of the restrictions have been eased, including the SMS services that were restored on Tuesday.

Five local politicians were released last Thursday, although several other prominent leaders remain in custody.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. The arch-rivals have fought two of their three wars over the territory.

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