Srinagar - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has rejected the possiblity of talks with Pakistan after a deadly bombing last week sparked new violence in the disputed Kashmir region on Monday and raised tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours.
Four Indian soldiers, three militants, one police officer and one civilian were killed on Monday in a gunbattle in India-administered Kashmir's Pulwama district, not far from the site of a rebel bombing that killed 40 paramilitary soldiers on Thursday.
The militants reportedly belonged to Pakistan-based Islamist militant Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) group that took responsibility for last week's attack in Pulwama.
Even as the police said they were determining identities of the militants, broadcaster NDTV reported that one of the slain rebels, a top commander of the JeM, was a mastermind of the deadly bombing.
The militant was a trusted aide of JeM chief Masood Azhar, responsible for recruiting and training militants in the Kashmir valley, the report said.
The rebels had opened gunfire on the security forces, triggering a gunfight, a police officer said, requesting anonymity.
Four soldiers, including an army major, and civilian were killed and three soldiers were injured early on in the gunbattle. Two militants were later killed in the fighting, he added.
The operations were continuing as a third militant was suspected to be hiding in one of the houses in the area, police said.
Addressing the press alongside visiting Argentine president Mauricio Macri in New Delhi, Modi exhorted the world to unite against terrorism.
"The Pulwama terror attack (bombing) shows that the time for talks is over," Modi said in a reference to a possible dialogue with Islamabad to ease tensions.
"Now the entire world needs to unite to take concrete steps to deal with terrorism and supporters. Not taking strict measures against terrorism and those against humanity, also encourages terrorism," he added.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia vowed to play a role in defusing tensions between the countries, foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir who is accompanying Crown Prince Prince Mohmmad bin Salman in Pakistan, told reporters.
The Saudi crown prince is due to undertake a two-day India visit from Tuesday.
Thursday's attack, the deadliest in India-administered Kashmir in three decades, came a time when India is readying for general elections, which are due by May.
India and Pakistan administer separate portions of Muslim-majority Kashmir, but both claim the region in its entirety and have fought two wars over it. India claims Pakistan aids and abets militancy in Kashmir, a charge Islamabad denies. It calls militants freedom fighters.
Close to 45,000 militants, security personnel and civilians have been killed since deadly secessionist violence in India-administered Kashmir broke out in the late 1980s.
Attacks on Kashmiri people have been reported from several parts of India since the deadly bombing last week.
Human rights group Amnesty has called on Indian authorities to ensure that Kashmiri people are not targeted or face harassment and arbitary arrests in the aftermath of the attack.dpa