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Indian Military Says 3 of Its Soldiers Killed in Kashmir

Three Indian soldiers were killed by military fire near the line of control that divides India and Pakistan in the contested state of Kashmir, the Indian army said Saturday.

According to the Indian military, Pakistani soldiers fired across the border and killed an army officer and two soldiers, violating a cease-fire.

There was no immediate comment from Pakistani authorities.

The Indian and Pakistani militaries frequently accuse each other of firing across the heavily-militarized Line of Control - the de facto border between the two nations.

Kashmir has been the center of a deadly tug-of-war between India and neighboring Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. The Muslim-majority Himalayan territory is divided between the nuclear-armed rivals, but both claim Kashmir in full.

Kashmir rebels have battled Indian forces for decades, demanding either independence or a merger with Pakistan. The rebels have staged a series of attacks on Indian security bases in recent months, including an assault in southern Kashmir in August that left eight security officials dead.

This year has been the bloodiest in nearly a decade in Kashmir, after the Indian military launched a large-scale operation, killing more than 200 alleged rebels.

Source: Voice of America