Indian Army, Kashmiris Clash

HEAVY fighting broke out yesterday between separatist militants and troops trying to enforce a curfew in Srinagar, summer capital of India's embattled northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said. They said militants attacked troops in three areas of Srinagar - two in the old city and one on its outskirts. Details of casualties were not immediately known.

``The militants are using machine guns, grenades, and automatic weapons to prevent Indian troops from entering some of their strongholds in the city,'' said a senior official.

Indian paramilitary troops burned 163 houses in old Srinagar on Sunday night after militants killed two soldiers, he said. One militant and two civilians were also killed, he added.

More than 1,500 people have died since January, when the separatist campaign exploded in India's only Muslim-majority state. Clashes between Indian security forces and the Kashmiri militants have become more frequent in recent weeks, with New Delhi accusing Pakistan of sending in hundreds of militants they have trained. Islamabad denies the charge.

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