Indian soldiers on Monday shot dead six separatist militants trying to cross over from Pakistan into the disputed region of Kashmir where popular protests against Indian rule have mounted in recent weeks.

India's parliament was told last week that militants based in Pakistan have stepped up efforts to infiltrate into Indian Kashmir before winter snow blocks the Himalayan mountain passes.

Such militants, India fears, could help worsen a violent uprising in Kashmir against New Delhi's rule, which first broke out in 1989 and New Delhi says is being abetted by Pakistan.

Pakistan denies providing military aid to the rebellion and says it only extends moral and diplomatic support to what it calls an independence struggle by Kashmiris. The conflict has officially killed around 47,000 people.

The army foiled a major infiltration attempt on the Line of Control (LoC) in Uri Sector, killing six terrorists, a statement by the ministry of defence said, referring to a military line dividing the two countries and which serves as a loose border.

The operation was on till reports last came in.

Uri sector lies near Pakistan border northwest of Srinagar Kashmir's summer capital.

The latest attempt to push in what India says are militants from Pakistan comes at a time when New Delhi is struggling to calm huge protests on Kashmir's streets that has kept the region on the boil and under a strict security lockdown.

The protests have killed more than 60 people, mostly stone-throwing protesters over the past two months in the largest pro-independence demonstrations in two years.

On Monday in Srinagar, police opened fire at scores of people demonstrating against Indian rule wounding at least five people, police and witnesses said.

The civilians deaths have fuelled anger in Kashmir, where anti-India sentiments run deep, though militant violence has gone down.

(Reporting by Sheikh Mushtaq; Editing by Krittivas Mukherjee and Sanjeev Miglani)