SRINAGAR, India (Reuters) – Three militants were killed in a gun battle with Indian security forces in disputed Kashmir on Wednesday, the first such incident since mobile telephone links were restored in a bid to restore normalcy after a lengthy shutdown.
Soldiers raided a village in south Kashmir, long a hotbed of a separatist revolt, following intelligence reports that militants had taken shelter there, two police sources told Reuters.
“Three terrorists were killed and the bodies were retrieved from the site of the encounter,” Jammu and Kashmir police said in a statement.
“Incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, was recovered.”
Troops at the scene, including military and police, did not suffer casualties, added the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to talk to the media.
India restored some mobile phone services in the Himalayan region on Monday, two months after imposing a communications clampdown.
New Delhi cut off telephone and internet lines in Jammu and Kashmir before it revoked the state’s special rights on Aug. 5, striking down long-standing constitutional provisions for the Muslim-majority region that is also claimed by neighbouring Pakistan.
Security forces have imposed travel restrictions near the site of Wednesday’s gunbattle to prevent unrest, the sources said. Many Kashmiris hostile to India’s rule often gather to throw stones at security forces after militants are killed.
(Reporting by Fayaz Bukhari in Srinagar; Writing by Sanjeev Miglani and Alasdair Pal; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)