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13 dead in Kashmir violence


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SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir (CNN) -- Violence in Kashmir Friday has killed more than a dozen people -- seven Kashmiri militants and six Indian soldiers -- Indian defense sources said.

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• Timeline: Kashmir history
• In-depth: Where conflict rules

Soldiers surrounded militants in Bandipur in northern Kashmir, about 15 miles north of Srinagar, the summer capital. Four militants and three soldiers died in the fighting.

In Jammu's Poonch district, soldiers and militants fought in Surankote -- 150 miles north of Jammu, the winter capital -- where two militants and three soldiers died.

Defense sources also reported the death of Javed Ahmed, a top al-Umer Mujahideen militant, in Srinagar. The circumstances were not immediately available.

On Thursday, at least 17 people were killed in a string of incidents as militants battled the Indian Army in Kashmir. (Full story)

February 5 is observed by Pakistan as Kashmir Solidarity Day, a national holiday that recognizes the Kashmiri people's struggle against Indian rule.

Separatist militants are fighting to establish a separate state in the Muslim-majority state of Kashmir. India has accused Pakistan of supporting the rebels, but the two nuclear powers have recently agreed to open talks to settle their differences over the disputed region.


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