SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir 

Five militants were killed in Indian-administered Kashmir on Sunday following a gunfight with government forces, police said.

The regional police, Indian Army’s 55 Rashtriya Rifles and 183 Battalion of paramilitary forces launched a cordon-and-search operation in Reban area of Shopian district after inputs that four to five militants were present in the area.

Police sources told Anadolu Agency that the militants were associated with the local militant outfit, Hizbul Mujahideen, and were operating in the area for long.

Dilbag Singh, police chief of the region, told CNN-News18 that there had been no collateral damage in the operation.

He also confirmed that the militants belonged to Hizbul Mujahideen, adding that more details were yet to be learned.

Meanwhile, internet was suspended early morning during the gun battle.

Ongoing violence

Despite multiple calls for cease-fire, violence in the disputed region continues unabated.

In an appeal in March, UN chief Antonio Guterres had urged warring parties across the globe to lay down arms in support of the fight against coronavirus.

Encounters, clashes, and damage to property is frequent in the Himalayan valley. In fact, there has been a spike in violence over the last three months.

According to the figures compiled by Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, a human rights group, at least 80 militants and 25 armed personnel have been killed in the region this year.

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 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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