SRINAGAR: A 42-hour gunbattle ended in Kashmir on Friday after two suspected rebels were killed in the fighting, which triggered massive anti-India protests in the disputed region.
A police officer said soldiers recovered the bodies of the two suspected militants from the debris of a destroyed house in southern Arwani village.
The officer, speaking on condition of anonymity in keeping with department policy, said both of the bodies were charred beyond recognition and authorities were conducting DNA tests to ascertain their identities.
The officer said they recovered three weapons from the site.
Villagers said the house was razed to the ground as soldiers blew it up with explosives.
Police and soldiers had cordoned off Arwani on Tuesday evening, triggering a gunbattle with trapped militants in the village.
On Thursday, a young man was killed and dozens of others were injured when government forces fired bullets, shotgun pellets and tear gas to disperse rock-throwing protesters who tried to help the trapped rebels escape.
Police said the man died after being hit by a stray bullet.
Massive protests erupted in Arwani and neighboring villages on Friday as thousands of Kashmiris chanted pro-militant and pro-freedom slogans.
Mobile and internet services in some areas of southern Kashmir remained suspended for a second day as authorities sought to stop activists from mobilizing anti-India protesters.
At least 90 civilians and two policemen have been killed and thousands injured in the protests. Hundreds of the injured have been blinded and maimed, mostly by government forces firing bullets and shotgun pellets at rock-throwing protesters. Curfews, communication blackouts, crackdowns and separatist-sponsored strikes have largely paralyzed daily life.