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Four killed in Kashmir violence

Four people, including a policeman, have been killed in a fresh clash at a busy market in volatile Indian-administered Kashmir, security officials say.

The incident took place in Srinagar on Monday when unknown gunmen opened fire on a police patrol and killed an officer, a police spokesman said.

“In the retaliatory firing by the police, three rebels were killed,” the spokesman told AFP on condition of anonymity. Panicked locals reportedly fled the scene of the gun battle.

Witnesses say police and paramilitary reinforcements sealed off the area.

Indian-administered Kashmir has been the scene of a wave of protests that have led to the deaths of more than 107 people since June 11, when a 17-year-old student was killed by a police tear-gas grenade. The deaths have been blamed on Indian security forces with most of those killed being young adults.

Several regional and international rights groups, including Amnesty International, have called on India to take immediate steps to protect and respect human rights in Kashmir.

Kashmir is partly ruled by both Pakistan and India, but both have laid claim to it in full. The territorial claims have been the leading cause of two of the three wars between the neighbors since the two gained independence from Britain more than half a century ago.

Independence-seeking Kashmiris have fought for over 20 years against New Delhi’s rule in Indian-administered Kashmir. They have been calling for a referendum in order to be able to determine the future of Kashmir.

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