Pakistan-based militant group warned on Wednesday of fresh attacks against the Indian Army, and said its fighters were responsible for days of fighting in Kashmir.
Eight soldiers and 17 rebels were killed in protracted gunbattles that started on Saturday in Kashmir's Kupwara district. Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) said its members were involved in the fighting, one of the fiercest in recent years.
"The gunbattles should serve as a message to India that struggle for Kashmir's freedom is on with full vigour," Lashkar spokesman Abdullah Ghaznavi said, warning of more attacks on Indian troops.
He was speaking by telephone in Srinagar, in Kashmir, from an undisclosed location. Ghaznavi said Lashkar militants initiated the gunbattle by ambushing an Army column in the forest area. He said the fighting left 25 jawans and ten Lashkar militants dead.
The Army said eight soldiers and 17 rebels were killed, and that the operation was launched by the soldiers after they were tipped off.
Lashkar has been blamed for the deadly attacks in Mumbai late last year that killed 165 people. It has denied any role in the attacks.
The nearly 20-year old insurgency against India has left more than 47,000 people dead, according to official figures.