Loud explosions and gunfire are rattling a building where a few rebels are fighting off Indian government forces for a third day in a standoff that has left five soldiers and one civilian dead in the Indian portion of Kashmir.

Paramilitary officer Nalin Prabhat says two to three rebels have been cornered Monday in a small area of a five-story government building.

The militants took refuge there after they fired automatic rifles and ambushed a convoy of Indian paramilitary soldiers Saturday. They allowed more than 100 civilian government employees to leave the building without any harm.

Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Kashmir, where rebel groups have been fighting since 1989 for either independence or a merger with neighboring Pakistan.