Four suspected rebels were killed in a gun battle with security forces on a highway on the outskirts of Jammu city in Indian-administered Kashmir, officials said on Thursday.
At least two Indian police officers were wounded during the clash that took place at a toll plaza in the Nagrota area in Kashmir’s southern city, police said.
The fresh clash was followed by the shooting death of an elected village official from India’s main opposition Congress party not far from the site of the firefight, which police blamed on the rebels. In the incident, soldiers cordoned a village in southern Shopian area early Monday after a tip-off from police, army spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said. A firefight broke out and four suspected rebels were killed, he added. Soldiers also blew up at least one home, another police officer and locals said.
Since 1989, rebels groups have fought against some 500,000 Indian soldiers deployed in the territory, demanding independence or Kashmir’s merger with Pakistan.
India regularly blames Pakistan for arming and training rebels before sending them across the border, charges that Islamabad denies.