At least four Indian soldiers were killed and eight others, including an officer, injured late Tuesday after being ambushed by suspected Muslim separatist militants in Indian Kashmir, police said.
A police spokesman said a patrol of the 32nd Rashtriya Rifles unit, which specializes in anti-insurgency operations, was attacked by rebels in Kashmir's northern Kupwara district.
"The patrol was passing the village of Wavoora Lolab," about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the Kashmir summer capital Srinagar, when they were ambushed, he said.
"The troops returned the gunfire but four soldiers died."
The Indian army launched a unilateral ceasefire in Kashmir, which was ordered by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. It came into force at midnight November 27 at the start of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan.
Last week Vajpayee extended the ceasefire for another four weeks, despite the rejection of the truce by hardline Muslim rebel groups and intensified attacks including an audacious mission in New Delhi's historic Red Fort in which three people were killed.
The Muslim insurgency in Kashmir has claimed 34,000 lives since its launch in 1989.
Pakistan and India have fought two of their three wars over the mountainous region, which is claimed by both and divided between them. India accuses Pakistan of fomenting the insurgency but Islamabad denies the charge -- SRINAGAR, India (AFP)
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