AFP, Srinagar
Five security personnel and four suspected militants have been killed in two gun battles in Indian-administered Kashmir, officials said yesterday.

Tensions are high in the restive Himalayan region contested with nuclear rival Pakistan after New Delhi scrapped Kashmir's semi-autonomous status in early August, with flashes of violence reported regularly.

Four army personnel, including two officers, a counterinsurgency policeman and two militants died after a firefight in the village of Changimul near the Line of Control that divides the disputed territory, said army spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia.

Two more militants were killed in a seperate incident, police said.

At least 54 militants have been killed in Kashmir this year, including more than 30 since the start of the lockdown from late March, according to an AFP tally.

India regularly accuses Pakistan of arming and sending rebels across the heavily militarised border. Islamabad denies the claims.