Suspected rebels killed in Kashmir gun battle

At least four suspected rebels killed and two policemen injured in a gunfight with security forces near Jammu city of Indian-administered Kashmir.

Indian security forces inspect the site after the gunfight in Jammu [Channi Anand/AP Photo]

Four suspected rebels were killed in a gun battle with security forces on a highway on the outskirts of Jammu city in Indian-administered Kashmir, officials said on Thursday.

At least two Indian police officers were wounded during the clash that took place at a toll plaza in the Nagrota area in Kashmir’s southern city, police said.

Police Inspector General Mukesh Singh told reporters the shooting lasted for three hours.

The gunbattle erupted at 4.20am local time (22:50 GMT on Wednesday) after the truck in which the suspected rebels were travelling was intercepted by security personnel near a toll plaza, paramilitary force spokesman Moses Dinakaran said.

Police said suspected rebels fired at the checkpoint on the main highway linking Jammu and Srinagar, the capital of Indian-administered Kashmir, after which security forces returned fire.

Police said they were verifying the identities of those killed [Channi Anand/AP Photo]

Police said they were verifying the identities of those killed.

Traffic on the busy highway was stopped by the police.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan, and both claim the region in its entirety.

Rebel groups have been fighting for Kashmir’s independence from India or its merger with Pakistan since 1989. India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the rebels. Pakistan says it only provides moral and diplomatic support to the rebels.

More than 45,000 people – mostly civilians – have been killed since the armed rebellion erupted in the late 1980s.

Source: News Agencies