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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 October 2007, 12:36 GMT 13:36 UK
Indian officers killed in Kashmir
Map showing Pakistan- and Indian-administered Kashmir
Two Indian army officers have been killed in a gun battle with separatist militants in Indian-administered Kashmir, military officials say.

Fighting broke out at Tangmarg, 40km (25 miles) from the summer capital Srinagar. Nine militants also died and two soldiers were hurt, the army says.

Correspondents say it is the highest loss suffered by the troops in Indian-administered Kashmir this year.

Violence in Kashmir has falled amid peace moves between India and Pakistan.

Talks between the two countries, which both claim Kashmir in its entirety, began in 2004.

Heavily forested

The dead officers have been identified as Maj KP Vinay and Maj DR Raman.

A defence spokesman said the clash began on Tuesday morning and continued on Wednesday.

The army says that its troops came under attack from suspected militants in the area, which is heavily forested and close to the Line of Control which divides Indian- and Pakistani-administered Kashmir.

Earlier this week, India's new army chief, Gen Deepak Kapoor, ruled out any reduction in the number of Indian soldiers in the area, a long-standing demand of the militants.

The BBC's Altaf Hussain in Srinagar says that the men killed in the clash are suspected to be members of the Al-Badar Mujahideen group.

Military officials said another militant had been killed in a separate clash with Indian troops in the southern district of Pulwama.

More than 60,000 people have been killed in Kashmir since 1989 when an armed insurgency began against Indian rule.

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