Indian soldier, army major killed in 2 days of clashes with militants in Kashmir

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An Indian Army soldier and two militants have been killed in gunfire in Jammu and Kashmir, a day after a major was killed and six soldiers were injured in gunfire and a car bomb attack.

Indian security forces and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militants exchanged gunfire in Anantnag district in Jammu and Kashmir Tuesday, NDTV reports. An Indian Army soldier and two militants have been killed, and police believe another militant is hiding in the area.

One of the suspects has been identified as Sajjad Maqbool Bhat, he is accused of arranging a suicide bombing of a Central Reserve Police Force convoy in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir in February.

On Monday, an Indian Army major was killed when the military clashed with militants in Anantnag during a joint security operation. Major Ketan Sharma and an unnamed militant believed to be a foreign national were killed in the gunfire. Police said that two soldiers were treated for injuries at hospital, the Indian Express reports.

Officials said a militant fired at the security team and that arms and ammunition were recovered from the site.  

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Later on Monday, explosives planted in a parked car in Pulwama detonated as a modified army vehicle drove past, injuring six soldiers and two civilians. Pakistan intelligence reportedly warned India and the US that a possible attack with an explosive device on a vehicle could take place in Pulwama.

JeM is a Pakistan-based armed group, outlawed in Pakistan, that seeks to overthrow Indian control of Jammu and Kashmir though attacks on military and government targets. Kashmir has been a flashpoint for tensions between India and Pakistan since the 1947 partition of India. Both countries claim all of the disputed territory but each administer different sections of the region, while Kashmiri groups in different regions want their own autonomy.  

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