SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, March 5 (Xinhua) -- An Indian policeman was killed and three others wounded Sunday in an overnight fierce gunfight between militants and Indian troops in restive Indian-controlled Kashmir, officials said.
The gunfight erupted Saturday evening at a Tral village in Pulwama district, about 42 km south of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.
"In an overnight gunfight with militants at Hafoo-Nazneenpora, we have lost one policeman," a police official said. " He was part of team that tried to storm the house where militants are hiding."
The gunfight broke out after contingents of Indian troops and police encircled a house on the intelligence information suggesting presence of militants in the area.
Reports quoting officials said three government force personnel including an army trooper were also wounded in the standoff. The wounded men were immediately removed to hospital.
Locals said intermittent gunfight was going on throughout night.
"We heard sound of gunfire and blasts throughout the night," Showkat Ahmad, a local told Xinhua over telephone from Tral.
No sooner the news about the gunfight broke out, locals took to roads and clashed with police and paramilitary apparently in a bid to break cordon and help militants to escape. The clashes according to reports were going on until late.
Unconfirmed reports said a militant was killed in the village. However, his associate is said to be targeting police and army positions in the locality.
On Friday evening a similar gunfight broke out in Shopian. However, militants broke the cordon and escaped unhurt from the area. In the morning clashes broke out between locals and government forces. Police fired tear smoke shells and warning shots to chase the irate residents.
Separatist movement and guerilla war challenging New Delhi's rule has been going on in Indian-controlled Kashmir since 1989. Gunfight between militants and Indian troops takes place intermittently across the region.
Kashmir, the Himalayan region divided between India and Pakistan, is claimed by both in full. Since their Independence from Britain, the two countries have fought three wars, two exclusively over Kashmir.