SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, March 28 (Xinhua) -- At least three youth were killed and 13 others wounded Tuesday after government forces fired upon protesters near a gunfight site in restive Indian-controlled Kashmir, police said.
The clashes broke out at village Durbugh in Chadoora of Budgam district, about 22 km south of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.
"One more civilian has succumbed and the death toll has risen to three. Earlier two young men were brought dead to hospital today," Nazir Hussain Chowdary, medical superintendent at Srinagar's SMHS hospital, told Xinhua. "We have also received 13 wounded people and they are undergoing treatment."
Doctors said all the victims have firearm wounds.
Clashes erupted in the village immediately after a gunfight between militants and Indian army broke out. Police officials said the locals, mostly youth, took to roads and attacked policemen and Indian army troopers in an apparent bid to end a cordon.
"The locals threw stones and brickbats on contingents of police and army, and even targeted the paramilitary reinforcements with the motive to disrupt the cordon and help besieged militants to escape," a senior police official posted in the area said.
Meanwhile, local media reports put the number of wounded in the clashes beyond 13.
According to the police official, the village was cordoned off early Tuesday following specific intelligence information about presence of militants in the area.
"A heavy exchange of fire is going on between the two sides," the official said.
The civilian killings have intensified protests in the area, with people pouring in large numbers to participate.
On Sunday, two militants belonging to Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) outfit were killed in a gunfight with police in adjacent Pulwama district. Thousands of people participated in the funeral prayers of the slain militants on Monday.
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.