Kashmir clash: 'Five militants' killed

A policeman is seen through the damaged windshield of a car in Srinagar in this March 10, 2011 file photo Kashmir has seen an armed insurgency against Indian rule since 1989

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At least five militants have been killed in a clash with security forces in Indian-administered Kashmir, police told the BBC.

A group of paramilitary troops and police was fired at by militants in the Najwan forest area near Ganderbal district.

Security forces retaliated, killing the militants, police said.

Kashmir, claimed by both India and Pakistan, has seen an armed insurgency against Indian rule since 1989.

In recent years violence in Kashmir has abated from its peak in the 1990s, but the causes of the insurgency are still far from resolved.

And the hanging earlier this year of a Kashmiri man, Afzal Guru, on charges of plotting the 2001 attack on India's parliament, has triggered a fresh spate of violence in Kashmir.

BBC Urdu's Riyaz Masroor in Srinagar says Friday's killings have been questioned by rights groups.

They cite past incidents in which official investigations have shown that security forces killed civilians in staged gun battles in order to win promotions and cash rewards, our correspondent adds.

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