2 suspected rebels, India soldier killed in Kashmir fighting

SRINAGAR: Two suspected rebels and an Indian paramilitary soldier were killed in brief fighting in disputed Kashmir on Wednesday, officials said. Government forces detained a suspected militant after the fighting.

Paramilitary officer Pankaj Singh said three militants arrived on a motorbike and fired at a patrol party on the outskirts of Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar.

Singh said the soldiers gunned down two of the militants. The third militant tried to escape and was caught after a chase, he said.

The officer said soldiers recovered a pistol and a grenade from the site of the shootout.

There was no independent confirmation of the incident.

India and Pakistan each claim the divided Himalayan territory of Kashmir in its entirety.

India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the rebels, a charge denied by Islamabad. Rebels have been fighting Indian control since 1989.

Most Kashmiris support the rebels' demand that the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country, while also participating in civilian street protests against Indian control.

About 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian crackdown.