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Four killed in Kashmir border clash, incursions rise

SRINAGAR (Reuters) - Indian troops shot dead four separatist guerrillas as they tried to cross into Indian Kashmir from the Pakistani side, the third infiltration attempt to be foiled in the past one week, the army said on Wednesday.

It said Pakistan-based militant groups have stepped up efforts to infiltrate into the region across the rugged Line of Control (LoC) before winter snow blocks the Himalayan mountain passes.

“We have foiled three major infiltration attempts in past one week, they are trying to send more and more before passes close,” army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel J. S. Brar said.

The latest firefight on the LoC, a military line that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan, broke out on Tuesday.

“The search operation still continues,” Brar said.

At the weekend, the Indian army accused Pakistani troops of providing cover fire for infiltrators on the LoC, the latest incident in a series of violations of a border ceasefire agreed six years ago with Islamabad.

Pakistan, which like India claims the region in full, has consistently denied its involvement in abetting the anti-India insurgency that has killed more than 47,000 people since 1989.

Reporting by Sheikh Mushtaq