SRINAGAR, India – The Indian army says four suspected rebels have been killed in disputed Kashmir as businesses and schools shut in the region in response to a separatists' call to protest the killing of eight civilians by government forces during a weekend by-election.
Army spokesman Col. Rajesh Kalia says a gunbattle erupted Sunday night after the four militants crossed from Pakistani territory into the Indian-held portion of Kashmir in Keran sector. There was no independent confirmation of the incident.
Meanwhile, a strike called by separatists paralyzed life in the Kashmir Valley on Monday.
Government forces opened fire on Sunday on crowds of people who attacked polling stations during a by-election for a vacant seat in India's Parliament, killing eight people.
Most people in Indian-controlled Kashmir favor independence or a merger with Pakistan.