SRINAGAR, India: Indian troops killed three suspected rebels in the outskirts of disputed Kashmir’s main city ending nearly 18-hour-long gunbattle, officials said Sunday.
Indian paramilitary spokesman Sanjay Sharma said the three militants were killed Sunday in the outskirts of Srinagar. Two counterinsurgency police officials and a soldier were wounded, he said.
Sharma said Indian troops had laid a siege around a neighborhood on Saturday on a tip that militants were hiding there. The fighting sparked anti-India protests and clashes as residents tried to march to the site of the battle in solidarity with rebels.
Government forces fired warning shots, shotgun pellets and tear gas at the stone-throwing protesters. No one was immediately reported injured.
Residents said government forces blasted at least five houses with explosives during the fighting, a common tactic employed by Indian troops in Kashmir.
Kashmir is divided between rivals India and Pakistan and both claim the territory in its entirety.
Most Kashmiris support rebel demands that the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country, while also participating in civilian street protests against Indian control.
Rebels have been fighting Indian control since 1989. India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the rebels, a charge Pakistan denies.
Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian military crackdown.