Indian Forces Kill 3 Islamic Militants

December 25, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: CBS News

Wire Service: AP

Indian forces killed three suspected Islamic militants holed up in a mosque in Indian-controlled Kashmir, ending a two-day hostage standoff and sparking angry protests that injured dozens of people, police said Tuesday.

"The siege is over. We have killed the three militants and rescued all the five civilians," said Hemant Lohia, a senior police officer who supervised the operation.

Later Tuesday, thousands of people gathered in the remote village of Palnu, 60 miles south of Srinagar, to bury the dead gunmen and to protest the police operation in Kashmir.

Police beat the protesters with batons and fired tear gas and warning shots to disperse the protesters, who pelted security forces with rocks and stones, said police officer Bashir Ahmad.

Police and witnesses said dozens of people were wounded, though neither could give exact figures. Each side blamed the other for starting the violence.