Anti-India clashes after troops kill two rebels in Kashmir | India

Two suspected insurgents were killed in fighting, police say, as local residents claim troops set a civil house on fire.

Clashes against India broke out in the capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir after two suspected rebels were killed in an exchange of fire with government forces.

Police and paramilitary soldiers launched a counterinsurgency operation overnight in a neighborhood in Srinagar, which resulted in an exchange of fire between captured rebels and troops early Monday, police said in a statement.

Two suspected fighters were killed in the firefight, the police said. Local residents said troops set a civil house on fire during the fighting.

Police said one of the dead was a Pakistani insurgent who has been operating in the region since earlier this year and was responsible for at least two fatal attacks on paramilitary soldiers in Srinagar.

There was no independent confirmation of the police claim.

When the fighting ended, dozens of people chanting slogans such as “Go India, go back” and “We want Freedom” threw stones at government forces. Troops retaliated by firing tear gas and shotgun pellets. No one was immediately reported injured in the clashes.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan, both of which claim the region as a whole. Most Kashmiris support the rebels’ goal of uniting the territory either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.

India calls the unrest in Kashmir “Pakistan sponsored terrorism”. Pakistan denies the allegation and most Kashmiris call it a legitimate struggle for freedom.

Tens of thousands of civilians, rebels and government forces were killed in the conflict.