Police say Indian troops have killed a militant in Kashmir

FILE - In this Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, file photo, injured Kashmiri Mohammad Ashraf Dar lies on a hospital bed in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir. Indian-controlled Kashmir's police chief Dilbagh Singh says a militant was killed during a brief shootout Wednesday morning. Police say Asif Maqbool Bhat was a militant associated with the Pakistan-backed militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba and was responsible for a recent shootout in which three members of a fruit trader's family, including Dar, and a 5-year-old girl were wounded. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan, File)

NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian troops have killed a suspected militant during an operation in the northern part of the Indian-controlled Kashmir, the region's police chief said.

Jammu and Kashmir police chief Dilbagh Singh said that Asif Maqbool Bhat was killed in a brief shootout Wednesday morning in Sopore town. He said Bhat was a member of the Pakistan backed Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group.

Singh said Bhat was responsible for a recent shootout in which three members of a fruit trader's family and a 5-year-old girl were wounded, as well as an earlier shooting targeting a migrant laborer from India.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since they won independence from Britain in 1947. Both claim the region in its entirety and have fought two wars over the territory.

India accuses Pakistan of training and arming insurgent groups that have been fighting since 1989 for Kashmir's independence from India or its merger with Pakistan. Pakistan denies that.

India's portion of the disputed territory has been on a security lockdown for more than five weeks after the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi stripped the region of most of its autonomy.