SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir

Two militants in the Indian-administered Kashmir were killed on Saturday after a gunfight broke out between the rebels and government forces in the southern Kulgam district of the region, police said.

In a joint operation today, the Indian army and regional police launched a cordon and search operation in the Wanpora area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district.

As per police, the hiding militants fired upon the search party which was retaliated, and a gunfight erupted in the region where two unidentified militants were killed.

“02 terrorists killed. Identity being ascertained. Search going on. Further details shall follow,” Kashmir Zone Police tweeted.

On May 19, Junaid Sehrai, the divisional commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, and another militant were killed in a gunfight in Srinagar. Around 15 residential houses were damaged in the gunfight.

Also, Riyaz Naikoo, a top commander of the rebel group, was also killed earlier this month.

As many as 77 militants have been killed since the beginning of the year, according to a police source.

Last week, Dilbagh Singh, the police chief in the region, said in a news conference that 95 militants and their associates have been arrested since the start of the year.

Disputed region

Kashmir is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.

Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars — in 1948, 1965 and 1971 — two of them over Kashmir.

Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against the Indian rule for independence, or unification with neighboring Pakistan.

According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have reportedly been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.

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