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Four Suspected Militants Killed By Security Forces In Indian Kashmir

Indian soldiers stand guard in the disputed region of Kashmir (file photo)

At least four militants, including two former police officers, were killed in India-administered Kashmir on June 7 during an operation launched by the security forces, officials said.

The incident occurred in the Pulwama district where India has stepped up operations since a suicide attack killed 40 paramilitary police officers in February.

The militants were believed to be members of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a Pakistan-based group that claimed responsibility for the February attack.

India-administered Kashmir has been facing a secessionist movement since the 1980s.

Pakistan denies it is backing militants in Kashmir but says it supports the self-determination of the Kashmiri people morally and diplomatically.

Two of the slain militants were believed to be special police officers (SPOs), who were reported missing since June 6. They had taken their weapons and joined the militant group, police said, without giving more details.

SPOs assist the police but do not get salaries, benefits, or training like regular security personnel.

More than 100 militants, including 23 foreign fighters, have been killed in Kashmir in the first five months of 2019.

The disputed Kashmir region is divided between India and Pakistan.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa