India

Kashmir clash: Militants and policemen die in gun battle

Kashmir shutdown on 1 July 2013 Image copyright AP
Image caption Shops, schools and businesses are shut in Kashmir to protest against the weekend's killings

Two militants and a policeman have been killed in a gun battle in Indian-administered Kashmir, police say.

The shooting took place in Tral, south of Srinagar city, on Monday when security forces launched an operation after being informed that militants were in the area.

Meanwhile, a day-long strike is being held in Srinagar and nearby areas to protest against Sunday's killing of two people in a military operation.

Shops, schools and businesses are shut.

Soldiers and police cordoned off a home in Mandoora village in southern Kashmir on Monday following a report that suspected militants were hiding there, Associated Press quoted paramilitary spokesman Kishore Prasad as saying.

The insurgents attacked troops with grenades and gunfire, he said. Two soldiers were wounded in the clash.

On Sunday, police said a man was killed when soldiers opened fire on stone-throwing protesters.

The protesters were demonstrating against the death of a teenager in a military operation earlier in the day.

Seventeen-year-old Irfan Ahmed Ganai was shot dead by the army soldiers when he went to the cattle shed outside his village home thinking some cattle thieves had entered the building, news agency AFP quoted Kashmir police chief Abdul Gani Mir as saying.

Hundreds of angry villagers protested on the streets, throwing stones at soldiers who opened fire, killing one of the demonstrators and injuring three others, he said.

The police have registered a case against the army which described the deaths as "regrettable" and has ordered its own probe into the incidents.

Kashmir, claimed by both India and Pakistan, has seen an armed insurgency against Indian rule since 1989.

In recent years violence in Kashmir has abated from its peak in the 1990s, but the causes of the insurgency are still far from resolved.

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