SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Two suspected rebels and a civilian were killed in a fierce gunbattle in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir, an Indian security official said Friday.
Central Reserve Police Force Inspector General Nalin Prabhat said the clash began Thursday and raged all night. He said the civilian was hit in the crossfire and succumbed to his injuries.
However, local residents said civilians began throwing stones at the troops, who responded with shots, killing one of them. Resentment against Indian rule and the heavy presence of security troops runs deep in Indian-held Kashmir.
There was no independent confirmation of the incident and no immediate comment from the dozens of rebel groups fighting Indian rule.
Rebels have been battling Indian control since 1989. More than 68,000 people have been killed in the fighting and in a subsequent Indian military crackdown.
Kashmir is claimed by both India and Pakistan and is divided between them.
The latest violence occurred as the region prepares to go to the polls. State elections are slated to take place in between Nov. 25 and Dec. 20.