Police: 2 ex-cops among 4 rebels killed in Kashmir fighting

Police say four militants have been killed in a gunbattle with government forces in Indian-controlled Kashmir, including two counterinsurgency police officers who defected to fight with rebels in the disputed region

SRINAGAR, India -- Police say four militants have been killed in a gunbattle with government forces in Indian-controlled Kashmir, including two counterinsurgency police officers who defected to fight with rebels in the disputed region.

Police say the fighting erupted late Thursday after police and soldiers cordoned off a village in southern Pulwama area on a tip that militants were hiding there.

Residents say troops blasted a civilian home with explosives during the firefight, which continued into Friday morning.

As the news of the counterinsurgency operations spread, protests and clashes broke out with hundreds trying to reach near the site of fighting and save the trapped militants.

Government forces fired bullets, shotguns and tear gas to stop the stone-throwing protesters.

Rebels have been fighting Indian control since 1989.