Rebels ambush Indian soldiers in Kashmir, 6 combatants dead

Police say rebels fighting against Indian rule in disputed Kashmir have launched an attack on paramilitary soldiers, killing five

SRINAGAR, India -- Rebels fighting against Indian rule in disputed Kashmir launched an attack on paramilitary soldiers on Wednesday, killing five, officials said. One militant also died in the fighting.

At least two militants in a car approached soldiers patrolling streets in the southern town of Anantnag and jumped out while firing at them, police said. The soldiers shot back and in the exchange of gunfire five soldiers and a militant were killed.

A police officer and two out of three injured soldiers were reported to be in critical condition.

Police and soldiers cordoned off the area and were looking for the second militant.

Both India and Pakistan claim the divided territory of Kashmir in its entirety. Rebels have been fighting against Indian control since 1989.

In February, a Kashmiri militant targeted a paramilitary convoy in a car bombing and killed 40 Indian soldiers. The attack brought India and Pakistan close to war.

Most Kashmiris support the rebels' demand that the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country, while also participating in civilian street protests against Indian control.

About 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian crackdown since 1989.