SRINAGAR AFP April1, 2018 -Twenty people have been killed in Indian Kashmir in some of the fiercest fighting this year in the restive Himalayan region, police said Sunday, as authorities braced for more violence.
Three Indian soldiers and 13 suspected militants died in several clashes south of Srinagar.
Kashmir has been divided between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947, but both claim it in full.
Four civilians were also killed and dozens injured when police opened fire on thousands of demonstrators who poured onto the streets, throwing stones and chanting slogans against Indian rule.
There were also demonstrations in Srinagar.
Seven of the alleged militants were killed along with two soldiers in a protracted shootout in the village of Dragad, where helicopters were seen swooping low over the battle zone.
Many civilians in Kashmir --India’s only Muslim-majority state-- support rebels who have been fighting for decades for independence or for a merger with Pakistan. Tens of thousands, mostly civilians, have died.