At least five Indian soldiers and two Kashmiris were killed on Monday in a series of gun battles in Indian Occupied Kashmir, where security forces have stepped up operations after several civilian killings last week, officials said.
In the deadliest incident for the country's security forces in the Himalayan region this year, a military official said five soldiers died after a shootout with Kashmiris near the bordering area with Pakistan.
"They were moved to a nearby medical facility but succumbed to their injuries," spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Davinder Anand said.
India accuses Pakistan of supporting the militancy in Kashmir. Islamabad denies New Delhi's allegation.
The Muslim-majority region has been on the edge since the killing of three Hindus and a Sikh last week which triggered a crackdown by Indian authorities.
In north Kashmir, security forces shot dead a Kashmiri from The Resistance Front (TRF), which Indian police believe is the Pakistan-backed group behind the series of civilian assassinations.
The Kashmiri was a suspect in the killing of a civilian driver and security forces had been looking for him after arresting four of his associates on Sunday, the Kashmir valley's police chief Vijay Kumar said.
"He was shot dead this morning," Kumar said.
In a separate incident, another Kashmiri was killed in a gun battle in south Kashmir, added Kumar.
India altered the status of Occupied Valley on August 5, 2019 and tried to changed demography of the Muslim-majority region which is a disputed territory between Islamabad and New Delhi.