Fierce gunbattle in Indian Kashmir kills 3 combatants

Police say anti-India protests have erupted in Indian-controlled Kashmir following a fierce gunbattle in which two rebels and a counterinsurgency policeman have been killed.

Police chief S.P. Vaid said Sunday that government forces, acting on a tip, encircled a civilian home in southern Tral area overnight, triggering the gunfight. He says the fighting lasted overnight until early Sunday.

As the fighting raged, clashes erupted between government forces and villagers who tried to march to the site of the fighting in solidarity with militants.

Rivals India and Pakistan each administer a portion of Kashmir, but both claim the disputed Himalayan territory in its entirety.

Rebel groups in Kashmir have been fighting for either independence or a merger with Pakistan since 1989.



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