By Zahid Rafiq
SRINAGAR, Jammu Kashmir
Six militants and an Indian Air Force commando were killed in a gunbattle in
According to a statement, police said the Indian forces had prior intelligence reports about the presence of militants in the area and they cordoned off the area.
"The militants began shooting at our forces and we retaliated that led to the gunbattle," it added.
Defense spokesman Col. Rajesh Kalia told Anadolu Agency: "Six militants have been killed so far in an operation in Hajin area of Bandipora district. One Indian Air Force soldier was also martyred and another army soldier injured. The operation has ended."
Shesh Paul Vaid, chief of the Indian police in the region, confirmed that one of six slain militants was a nephew of top Lashkar commander Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi.
Vaid last week said 170 militants were killed in 2017 so far, which was a record in the last 10 years.
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.
The two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- since they were partitioned in 1947, two of which were fought over Kashmir.
Also in Siachen glacier in northern Kashmir, Indian and Pakistani troops have fought intermittently since 1984. A cease-fire came into effect in 2003.
Kashmiri resistance groups in Jammu Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with
More than 70,000 people have reportedly been killed in the conflict since 1989. India maintains more than half a million troops in the disputed region.