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Gun battle in Kashmir leaves Indian officer dead

January 7, 2014

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Separatist militants engaged Indian police and paramilitary forces in a fierce gun battle Tuesday that killed one officer in the troubled Himalayan region of Kashmir, police said.

Police were ambushed in Sopore city, about 55 kilometers (34 miles) north of Srinagar, after receiving a tip that militants were operating in the area, Inspector General A.G. Mir said.

Indian paramilitary forces were sent to reinforce the police. Four police officers were wounded, with one later dying from his injuries, Mir said. There was no immediate word on whether any militants had been hit.

The Kashmir region, disputed by and divided between India and Pakistan, has seen a surge of violence in recent months as rebels step up demands for independence or incorporation into Pakistan.

Some 68,000 people have been killed since 1989 in an armed uprising and subsequent crackdown by Indian forces. While the rebellion has largely been suppressed, anti-India resentment still runs deep.

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