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Indian Forces Kill 3 Militants as Standoff Ends

Indian Army soldiers take position during a gunbattle between security forces and Kashmiri rebels in Pampore, near Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Feb. 22, 2016.

Indian forces killed the last three militants who had holed up for three days in a government building, following a convoy attack in Indian Kashmir.

Soldiers and police fired mortars while militants responded with small arms fire during the three day standoff.

Three members of the special forces were killed in the standoff along with a civilian caught in the crossfire. Thirteen troops were also wounded.

The militants, believed to be rebels opposed to Indian rule, had taken refuge in the building after assaulting a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy Saturday on the outskirts of Srinagar.

The rebels allowed more than 100 people working in the building to leave without harm.

As the standoff continued, hundreds of residents demonstrated on the streets in support of them.

Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Kashmir, where rebel groups have been fighting since 1989 for either independence or a merger with neighboring Pakistan. India and Pakistan each administer a portion of Kashmir, but both claim the region in its entirety.

More than 68,000 people have been killed in the armed uprising and ensuing Indian military crackdown.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars, two of them over control of Kashmir, since they won independence from British colonialists in 1947.

Some material for this report came from AP and AFP.