(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Indian government forces killed two militants and captured one in Kashmir on Monday during a brief gun battle, sparking protests by local civilians, police said.
Soldiers and special police forces surrounded a neighbourhood in Khudwani, a village in the south of Indian–administered Kashmir, after a tip–off about the presence of militants.
"Two militants (were) killed in an encounter with police, army and CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force). One was arrested," a police statement said.
Police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of local residents who took to the streets in support of the slain militants and threw stones at government forces.
Both belonged to the region's largest militant group, Hizbul Mujahideen, police said.
The gun battle came a day after government forces killed two militants and captured another in the southern Shopian area after a day–long exchange of fire.
More than 140 militants have been killed so far this year in the restive Kashmir valley, where India has deployed thousands of additional troops to hunt for anti–India militants in an offensive dubbed "Operation Allout".
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. Both claim the Himalayan territory in full.
Militants fighting the roughly 500,000 Indian soldiers deployed in the territory, demanding independence or a merger with Pakistan.
Tens of thousands have died in the fighting, mostly civilians.