India army officer killed in Kashmir clash

Image caption,
Hundreds of thousands of troops are based in Kashmir

A senior Indian army officer has been killed in a gun battle with separatist militants in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Colonel Neeraj Sood was "leading his troops" when he was gunned down by militants in Lolab area, the army said.

He is the highest ranking officer to be killed by militants in Kashmir in 2010.

Despite a decline in violence in Kashmir in recent years, there are fears that militants are trying to regroup in the region.

Hundreds of thousands of Indian troops are based in Kashmir to fight a two decade-old insurgency against Indian rule.

A spokesman for the Indian army said the operations against militants, launched by Col Sood before he was killed, is still on in the forested areas of Lolab, north of the capital, Srinagar.

It is not clear whether the militants have suffered any casualties in the clashes.

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