Islamic State group claims involvement in Kashmir gunbattle

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NEW DELHI (AP) — The Islamic State group has claimed involvement in a gunbattle in Kashmir, the disputed Himalayan territory where militants have fought Indian rule for decades.

The group released a statement on an IS website Tuesday saying that "soldiers of the caliphate" had been wounded in a clash in the Kashmiri town of Zainapora.

A statement from police headquarters in Srinagar, the region's largest city, says two militants killed in the gunbattle were "inspired by IS ideology" and were wanted in connection with "terror crimes."

Police say they came under fire while searching for the suspects.

The Islamic State group occasionally claims responsibility for deadly clashes with authorities but its hardline ideology has not attained mainstream acceptance in Kashmir, where militants complain it is trying to hijack their independence movement.

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