September 22, 1997 in Nation/World

Indian Soldiers Kill 16 Guerrillas

Compiled From Wire Services

Indian soldiers clashed with secessionist rebels Sunday in the northern state of Jammu-Kashmir, killing 16 guerrillas, a military spokesman said.

The fighting broke out in the jungles of the Badgam district, about 220 miles northwest of the city of Jammu, the spokesman said on condition of anonymity.

It was the military’s biggest success in fighting against Muslim secessionists in Jammu-Kashmir this year, the spokesman said. Jammu-Kashmir is the only state in predominantly Hindu India that has a Muslim majority.

The rebels have been fighting since 1989, either for an independent Kashmir or for union with India’s Islamic neighbor, Pakistan. More than 16,000 people have died in the fighting.

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