2 suspected rebels, 2 Indian troops die in Kashmir gunbattle
SRINAGAR, India (AP) — A brief gunbattle between Indian government forces and suspected rebels on Tuesday killed two rebels and two troops in the disputed Kashmir region, police said.
Army and police officers acting on a tip had been searching for militants hiding in the southern Kashmiri village of Hundoora when militants began firing on them, sparking an hourlong gunbattle, according to senior police officer Abdul Ghani Mir.
He said two militants, a police constable and an army colonel were killed. Another two soldiers were wounded.
There was no immediate statement from any of the rebel groups that have been fighting against Indian rule in the Himalayan region since 1989.
Public opposition to Indian rule remains widespread in the mostly Muslim territory, where rebel groups are demanding either Kashmir’s independence or its merger with neighboring Pakistan. Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan, with both claiming the territory in its entirety.
More than 68,000 people have been killed in the armed uprising and subsequent Indian military crackdown, though with the rebel groups now largely suppressed most public resistance is now shown in street protests.