SRINAGAR, INDIA - Police and witnesses say government forces have killed three rebels in a 24-hour long gunbattle in the Indian-controlled part of disputed Kashmir while at least 35 civilians were injured in anti-India protests and clashes in solidarity with militants.
Police said the fighting on early Monday erupted after soldiers and counterinsurgency police raided southern Bahmnoo village.
Witnesses said troops blasted three civilian homes during the fighting.
The gunfight triggered intense clashes after hundreds of civilians marched near the site to help the trapped militants escape.
India and Pakistan control part of Kashmir, but both claim the Himalayan territory in its entirety.
Anti-India sentiment runs deep among the region's mostly Muslim population and most people support the rebels' cause against Indian rule despite a decades-long military crackdown to fight the armed rebellion.