Indian paramilitary soldier arrive near the site of a gunbattle in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir.
Three suspected rebels and a 45-year-old woman were killed Thursday during a gunbattle between government forces and anti-India rebels in the main city in disputed Kashmir, officials said.
The gunfight erupted shortly after scores of counterinsurgency police and soldiers launched an operation based on a tip about the presence of militants in a Srinagar neighborhood, Pankaj Singh, an Indian paramilitary spokesman, said.
Singh said the fighting left three militants dead and a paramilitary officer wounded. No other details were immediately available about the civilian’s killing.
As the fighting raged, many residents marched near the site in solidarity with the rebels and chanted slogans seeking an end to Indian rule over the region. Government forces fired shotgun pellets and tear gas at the stone-throwing protesters.
No casualties were immediately reported in the clashes.
Both India and Pakistan claim the divided territory of Kashmir in its entirety. Kashmiris support the rebel goal that the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.
Tens of thousands of civilians and rebels s have been killed in the conflict.
New Delhi has been stepping up counter-insurgency efforts in the disputed territory since the nationwide coronavirus lockdown was imposed in late March. The militants were killed in a firefight in the Zoonimar area of the densely populated old city of Srinagar.
Several hours of shooting rocked the Pulwama district, south of Kashmir's main city of Srinagar, after officials said four soldiers, a policeman, three militants and a civilian were killed in the latest clash.
An army major was among the dead, along with three militants from the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) group which claimed last week's attack, military and police officials said.
Six senior army men including a brigadier and a lieutenant colonel were injured in the hours-long gun battle, a police official told AFP.
Pakistani airspace on its eastern border with India will remain closed until June 14, a civil aviation official said on Wednesday, the latest extension months after a standoff between the arch rivals.
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