5 rebels, 1 policeman killed in Indian Kashmir

A shootout Monday in a crowded marketplace in the Indian portion of Kashmir killed three suspected Muslim rebels and one policeman, while two suspected militants were killed in other fighting, officials said.

Militants on a motorcycle opened fire on a police patrol in the Qamarwari district of Srinagar, the main city in Indian-administered Kashmir, a police statement said.

"In the retaliatory fire, three militants were killed while one police constable also laid down his life," the statement said.

Police set up checkpoints in the area following intelligence that militants were planning an attack in the city, said police chief Ashiq Bukhari.

Also Monday, two suspected rebels were killed in fighting with Indian troops in the forested area of Handwara, some 60 miles (100 kilometers) north of Srinagar, a police statement said.

There was no immediate comment on either incident from militant groups.

Anti-India sentiment runs deep in the disputed Muslim-majority region. More than 68,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed since 1989.

While insurgent attacks have largely been suppressed by Indian forces, Kashmiri resistance is now principally through street demonstrations by angry people.

Since June, the Himalayan region has been rocked by violent anti-India protests and subsequent crackdowns by government security forces that have killed at least 111 people — mostly teenage boys and young men in their 20s.

India and Pakistan have fought two wars for control over Kashmir since they won independence from Britain in 1947.