SRINAGAR, India – The Indian army says two Indian air force commandos and two rebels have been killed in a fierce gunbattle in the disputed region of Kashmir.
Army spokesman Col. Rajesh Kalia says soldiers began an anti-militant operation on Wednesday by cordoning off northern Hajin town. He said the deaths occurred in the ensuing intense fighting.
Clashes erupted in Hajin shortly after the fighting ended as hundreds of Kashmiris hit the streets to demand an end of Indian rule in Kashmir. Government forces fired tear gas and shotgun pellets to quell the rock-throwing protesters.
Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and both countries claim it in its entirety. Rebel groups demand that Kashmir be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.