Indian soldiers kill five suspected terrorists in KashmirIndian soldiers

Indian forces have killed five suspected militants in two separate gun battles across the Indian-administered Kashmir, Indian police say.

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According to reports, police said the first clash erupted following a raid by soldiers in the Imamsahab area of southern Shopian district.

The troops cordoned off the area late on Monday, and a gun battle broke out when the armed men refused to surrender. At least three gunmen were killed in the ensuing fight early on Tuesday.

Witnesses and local residents said troops and counterinsurgency police detonated explosives on one civilian house during the fierce fighting.

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Separately, at least two suspected militants were killed in an apple orchard during a security operation in the village of Feeripora, also in Shopian, on Tuesday.

The developments came a day after five Indian soldiers were killed in a gun battle with suspected militants in a forested area of the southern Surankote district.

The uptick in violence comes amid a sweeping crackdown by Indian government forces across the Kashmir Valley following a string of targeted killings in the main city of Srinagar last week. Police have detained more than 700 people for questioning in the Muslim-majority region over the past few days.

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According to police, those detained in the crackdown include members of religious groups, anti-India activists, and “over-ground workers,” a term Indian authorities use for pro-independence sympathizers.

India has tightened restrictions on movement in Kashmir to contain protests after the death of a top independence leader last month.

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