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The fighting began Sunday when five rebels, including three commanders, were killed in gunfights with the police.
Security forces fired tear gas and pellet guns Monday on anti-government demonstrations in Indian-administered Kashmir where Indian troops killed at least nine rebels, triggering fierce clashes with villagers.
The fighting began Sunday when five rebels, including three commanders, were killed in gunfights with the police in Shopian district, some 70km south of the capital, Srinagar.
Four more rebels were killed Monday morning in the Pinjora area when government forces laid a siege and set up search operation after they received intelligence about fighters hiding there, said army spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia.
Hundreds of villagers then gathered in support of the rebels, throwing stones and shouting slogans against Indian rule over the region as the firefight continued, a police officer and locals said.
Indian forces fired shotgun pellets and tear gas at the stone-throwing protesters, but no casualties were immediately reported in those clashes.
Violence has escalated in Kashmir in recent months as India’s far-right government is stepping up its counterinsurgency operations against rebels who have continued their attacks on Indian forces and alleged informants. Rebels either want Kashmir's independence or a merger with Muslim-majority Pakistan.
More than two dozen rebels and about a dozen Indian troops were killed in April, the most in any month since last August when India revoked the region’s semi-autonomous status and statehood and imposed direct federal rule.
Kashmiris say India plans to alter the demographics of the region by settling non-local Hindus in the Muslim-majority region.
There also has been almost daily fighting over the last months along the rugged and mountainous frontier that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan.
India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the anti-India rebels. Pakistan denies this, saying it only offers moral and diplomatic support to the rebels and to Kashmiri civilians who oppose Indian rule.
India and Pakistan both claim the territory in its entirety.