An Indian official says Kashmiri protesters have attacked government forces with rocks and burned an armored vehicle during the funerals of two insurgents killed in a gunbattle in the disputed Himalayan region.

Senior paramilitary officer Nalin Prabhat says the clashes erupted as police fired tear gas to disperse thousands of people protesting the killing of the rebels by Indian forces in the Shopian area early Thursday.

Prabhat said the two, including Naseer Pandit, a former police constable who joined the militants last year, belonged to Kashmir's largest rebel group Hizbul Mujahideen,

Rebels have been fighting since 1989 for Kashmir's independence from India or merger with Pakistan, which controls another portion of the territory in the west. More than 68,000 people have been killed in the militant uprising and Indian crackdown.