By Zahid Rafiq
SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir
Seven people were killed in a day-long gun battle in Tral, south of Jammu and Kashmir, on Tuesday, the Indian army said.
"The operation started very early. One of our soldiers and a policeman were killed. Till the last reports four militants were killed.
The gun battle has ended but our soldiers are conducting an extensive search of the area,” Defence spokesman Col. Rajesh Kalia told Anadolu Agency.
The gun battle occurred in Laam area, in the forests of Tral, where Indian intelligence agencies received a tip off about the presence of militants.
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.
The two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- since they were partitioned in 1947, two of which were fought over Kashmir.
Also, in Siachen glacier in northern Kashmir, Indian and Pakistani troops have fought intermittently since 1984. A cease-fire came into effect in 2003.
Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for 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.