2 suspected rebels, civilian killed in gunbattle in Indian-controlled Kashmir

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An Indian security official says two suspected rebels and a civilian have been killed in a fierce gunbattle in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir.

Central Reserve Police Force Inspector General Nalin Prabhat said Friday that the clash began the previous day and raged all night. He said the civilian was hit in the crossfire and succumbed to his injuries.

However, local residents said civilians began throwing stones at the troops, who responded with shots, killing one of them.

There was no independent confirmation of the incident and no immediate comment from rebel groups fighting Indian rule.

Rebels have been battling Indian control since 1989. More than 68,000 people have been killed in the fighting and in a subsequent Indian military crackdown.

Kashmir is claimed by both India and Pakistan.