Published: 02:55 PM, 13 August 2017
Two soldiers and three rebels werekilled in an overnight gunbattle in Kashmir, officials said Sunday, in
the latest bloodshed in the disputed Himalayan territory.
Hundreds of Indian soldiers and counter-insurgency forcessurrounded Awneera, a village about 50 kilometres (32 miles) southof the main city of Srinagar, on Saturday evening following atip-off about armed militants in the area.
A fierce firefight broke out in which three militants and twosoldiers were killed, army spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia told AFP.
A police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, saidthe militants were identified as locals.
As news of their death spread, hundreds of residents fromneighbouring villages took to the streets in protest, throwingstones at soldiers and chanting slogans against Indian rule.
In a separate incident early Sunday rebels fired at an armyconvoy in the northern are of Hajin and injured two police officersand a soldier, the same police officer said.
On Saturday a civilian and a soldier were killed in gunfirebetween Indian and Pakistan soldiers along the heavily militarisedde facto border splitting the territory.
At least 130 militants and 39 soldiers have died in clashesso far this year, officials say.
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since theend of British colonial rule in 1947. Both claim the territory infull.
Rebel groups have fought since 1989 in Indian Kashmir,demanding independence or a merger of the territory with Pakistan,and tens of thousands -- mostly civilians -- have been killed.