Suspected Islamic militants have killed three sleeping children in Indian Kashmir after barging into their home.
Police say the children died in the attack late Saturday in Surankote, north of Jammu, the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir state.
Meanwhile, police say Indian security forces shot dead five separatist militants near the Pakistan border in the Surankote area.
The region where the attack and the gunbattle took place has been a center for Islamic militants who often target Muslim families, accusing them of being informers for Indian security forces.
Separatist militants opposed to Indian control over Kashmir have been fighting against New Delhi's rule since 1989 -- a period in which more than 30-thousand people have been killed in the region.
At the same time, Indian Kashmir's state authorities have set free a senior separatist leader, Bashir Ahmed Bhat, after a nearly year-long detention.
Mr. Bhat, senior vice-chairman of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, was arrested January 13th under the Public Safety Act.
He has been in and out of jail since 1971 for demanding Kashmir's independence from India and Pakistan.