SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Government forces killed two rebels in a gunbattle in disputed Kashmir on Wednesday, police said, triggering protests and clashes by residents against Indian rule.
Soldiers and counterinsurgency police cordoned off a neighborhood in southern Anantnag town early in the morning and clamped a curfew in the town to stop anti-India protests.
The fighting erupted as troops began searching a cluster of homes and in the exchange of gunfire two militants were killed, police said in a statement.
Locals said troops blasted a civilian home with explosives.
Despite curfew, protests and clashes broke out at multiple places in the town in solidarity with the rebels. Government forces fired warning shots and tear gas at stone-throwing protesters. There were no reports of injuries.
India and Pakistan each administer part of Kashmir, but both claim it in its entirety. Rebels have been fighting Indian control since 1989, demanding that the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.
Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian military crackdown.