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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 August 2006, 05:07 GMT 06:07 UK
Two 'militants' killed in Kashmir
Kashmir map
The army in Indian-administered Kashmir say they have killed two militants in a clash early on Thursday.

The police said the militants, one of them Hindu and belonging to the Islamic separatist group Hizbul Mujahedeen, died in Doda district in Jammu.

The incident happened after security forces raided a hideout in a forested area near Kulhand area, the army said.

Militant groups have been fighting an insurgency against Indian rule in Kashmir since 1989.

The conflict has cost over 60,000 lives.

The army said the two militants were killed after a two-hour gun battle.

One of them, Kuldeep Sharma, has been identified as a Hindu.

The army said he had been active as a militant since 1998 and was involved in the killings of several Indian security personnel.

Another Hindu militant, Uttam Singh, was killed by the security forces in the area last August.

The BBC's Binoo Joshi, in Jammu, says there are reports of Hindus joining Islamic militant groups either for money or to demonstrate their power.

The police say they have reports of over a dozen Hindu men who were associated with the Hizbul Mujahedeen group active in the Muslim-dominated districts in Jammu region.

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