Gunfight between Indian police, rebels kills 5 in Kashmir

Police say rebels have attacked a police squad in the Indian portion of Kashmir, triggering a gunbattle that left three civilians, one officer and an assailant dead.

Senior police officer S.P. Pani says the unit came under fire Saturday night as it reached a road accident site on a key highway connecting Kashmir Valley with the rest of India.

He says the dead civilians included road construction officials of a private company.

Insurgents have been fighting for Kashmir's independence from India or merger with neighboring Pakistan since 1989.

India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the rebels, a charge Islamabad denies. Pakistan says it only provides moral and diplomatic support to them. India and Pakistan have fought two wars for control of Kashmir.