Rebels attacked a police team in Indian-administered Kashmir on Friday, killing two officers and wounding one despite tight security in the disputed majority-Muslim region ahead of India’s Independence Day.
A group of fighters opened fire on the police team that was on duty in the Nowgam area of Srinagar city, the chief of police in Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, told the Reuters news agency.
“We had inputs that militants may carry out attack and were alert,” said Kumar. “They came through a narrow lane and fired indiscriminately.”
He said the rebels had been identified and promised to “neutralise them” soon. The area had been cordoned off searches were going on, he said.
The attack comes days after the first anniversary of the revocation of Kashmir’s constitutional autonomy, a reform the Indian government said would promote the region’s development by drawing it closer to the rest of the country.
But many people in Kashmir saw the loss of special autonomy as another step in the erosion of the rights of Muslims by the Hindu nationalist government. The government rejects that.
Kashmir has been disputed by India and neighbouring Pakistan since the end of the British colonial rule in 1947. Both countries claim it in full but rule it in part.
More than 50,000 people have been killed in more than 30 years of armed rebellion in Kashmir that India accuses Pakistan of fuelling by supporting Muslim rebel groups fighting India’s security forces in its part of the divided region.
Pakistan says it only offers political support to its fellow Muslims in the Himalayan region.
India celebrates Independence Day on Saturday.