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Indian forces kill 3 attackers to end standoff in Kashmir

SRINAGAR: Troops and police on Monday killed three armed attackers holed up in a government building in Indian Kashmir, ending a three-day gunbattle in which five soldiers and a civilian also died, police said.

The fighting broke out when the suspected separatists ambushed a paramilitary convoy on Saturday, killing two troopers before taking refuge in the building on the outskirts of the state capital Srinagar.

“All the three attackers have been killed in the gun battle. Their bodies have been recovered,” the inspector general of police for the region, Javaid Gillani, told media.

The armed attackers, who are fighting against Indian rule over the disputed Himalayan region, allowed more than 120 people including trainees and staff to flee from the building after holing up there.

Soldiers and police surrounded it and fired mortar bombs, while the separatists responded with automatic weapons and hand grenades.

On Sunday two captains and a Special Forces soldier of the Indian army were killed as the gunbattle raged.

A gardener died in the initial crossfire and 13 members of the Central Reserve Police Force were wounded.

As the battle raged, hundreds of local residents came onto the streets in support of the suspected separatists, chanting slogans against the Indian rule.

Muslim-majority Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since they won independence from Britain in 1947.

Several separatist groups have for decades been fighting Indian forces deployed in the Himalayan region, demanding independence or a merger of the territory with Pakistan.


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