Indian Police Clash with Civilians in Kashmir

After police killed seven they thought were rebels

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Violent clashes occurred between the Indian police and villagers in Kashmir on Tuesday, after security forces were accused of killing seven civilians they thought were rebels.

Civilians surrounded a police station in the area of Kupwara and threw rocks while attempting to torch the building, demanding that the police relinquish the bodies so they could be identified and buried, the Guardian reports. The police responded by firing tear gas and warning shots.

The incident took place near the Himalayan border between India and Pakistan—an area that both countries have claimed as their own since independence from Britain in 1947. Since 1989, numerous militant groups have engaged in armed resistance against Indian security forces, in attempt to either achieve full independence for Kashmir or to merge with Pakistan.

Many villagers in Kashmir insisted that the people killed on Monday were not militants, the Guardian reports, while an Indian army spokesman said “the identities of the seven are being ascertained.”