Eight suspected rebels have been killed in Indian-administered Kashmir in a series of separate clashes with soldiers over the past two days, police said Friday.

Shooting broke out on Thursday when Indian soldiers launched a search for reported militants in the southern Kulgam area, with five men killed on Friday, police said.

The five were all local men affiliated with the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, according to police.

In a separate clash, also on Thursday, Indian security forces killed two militants near the heavily militarised dividing line with Pakistan.

Another fighter was killed on Friday in the Rajouri area during a shootout with soldiers, a police statement said, reporting a "huge" stash of arms had been seized.

Rebel groups have waged an insurgency since 1989, demanding independence or a merger of the Himalayan territory with Pakistan. The conflict has left tens of thousands of civilians, soldiers and militants dead.

India blames Pakistan for supporting the militants. Islamabad denies the charge, saying it only backs a Kashmiri struggle for the right to self-determination.

The Indian-controlled part of the territory has simmered in anger since Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government annulled its limited constitutional autonomy in 2019 and imposed direct rule.

Indian authorities say at least 114 people have been killed in the conflict this year, including 11 civilians, 23 security forces and 80 suspected rebels.