Indian soldiers killed 12 rebels today as they tried to slip into Indian Kashmir from Pakistan, an army spokesman said. It was the biggest clash since India and Pakistan announced moves to improve ties last month. Elsewhere in the state, about 20,000 people gathered in a park here in the summer capital, Srinagar, to mark the first anniversary of the killing of Abdul Gani Lone, the moderate separatist leader. The crowd shouted slogans demanding independence from India. Violence has increased in the Himalayan region since Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee urged talks with Islamabad to resolve the Kashmir dispute that lies at the heart of more than half a century of hostility between the South Asian rivals. “Twelve militants who were infiltrating into our side were killed by army soldiers near Tutmar Gali,”‘ said an army spokesman, Lt. Col. Mukhtar Singh. “The operation is still in progress.” Full Story
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