Officials say three rebels, an army soldier and a civilian have been killed during a gunbattle in disputed Kashmir that triggered anti-India protests and clashes.

Police say a gunbattle broke out in a neighborhood in southern Pulwama town early Thursday as police and soldiers scoured the area for militants.

Two soldiers and the slain civilian's brother were also injured in the fighting.

The fighting sparked protests and clashes as hundreds of residents tried to march to the site of the battle in solidarity with rebels despite security lockdown in the area.

Government forces fired shotgun pellets and tear gas at protesters who threw stones at them.

India and Pakistan each claim the divided Himalayan territory of Kashmir in its entirety. Rebels have been fighting Indian control since 1989.