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3 rebels, civilians die in Kashmir amidst fighting, clashes



SRINAGAR, India (AP) – Three alleged rebels were killed Sunday in a battle with government forces in disputed Kashmir and triggered violent anti-Indian protests.

The fighting took place after troops cordoned off a village in the southern Kulgam area. The Indian military said that there were rebels hiding there. The exchange lasted several hours, killing three militants and injuring two soldiers, the military said.

Residents said soldiers blew up a civilian house with explosives while they fought the rebels, a common indictment of Kashmiris who deeply resent the presence of the Indian army

As the fighting raged, anti-Indian protesters attempted to kill the rebels Place to reach the stalemate. They threw stones at government forces hoping to help the captured rebels escape. Government troops fired shotgun pellets and tear gas at the demonstrators, leaving at least 35 injured.

Hundreds of civilians gathered on the compound as police and rioters rushed out of the area after the fighting. An explosion occurred when people tried to clear the destroyed house, residents said, killing at least one civilian and injuring five others who were hospitalized in critical condition.

m.p. Pani, a top policeman, said the civilians were gathering in the area, despite repeated requests to stay away as soldiers were still evacuating the area. "Someone from the crowd was playing with an unexploded explosive substance that led to the tragic incident," he said.

India and Pakistan each manage a part of Kashmir, but both claim it in their entirety.

Most Kashmiris support the rebels The area is united under either Pakistani rule or as an independent country, while also participating in civil street protests against India's control. In recent years, especially young Kashmiris have openly solidarized themselves with the rebels and tried to protect them in military conflicts with street fighting.

Rebels have been fighting against India's control since 1

989. India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the rebels, a charge Pakistan denies.

Almost 70,000 people were killed in the uprising and subsequent military defeat of India.


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