A 42-hour gun battle that started on Thursday has ended in Indian-administered Kashmir after two suspected rebels and one civilian were killed, triggering massive anti-India protests in the disputed region.

A police officer said soldiers recovered bodies of the two suspected rebel fighters from the debris of a destroyed house in southern Arwani village on Friday.

The shootout started on Thursday after Indian soldiers and police cordoned off the southern Arwani village, and gunmen hiding there opened fire in an attempt to break through the siege.

As the shootout raged, thousands of people from neighbouring villages ignored government orders to stay away and marched to Arwani.


Danish Rajab, 24 [centre], worked for a dairy company in Kashmir, before he was blinded by pellets fired by Indian authorities [Zacharie Rabehi/Agence Le Journal/Al Jazeera]

Mobile and internet services in some areas of southern Kashmir remained suspended for a second day as authorities sought to stop activists from mobilising anti-India protesters.

Kashmir is experiencing its largest protests against Indian rule in recent years. At least 90 civilians and two policemen have been killed and thousands injured in the protests.

Hundreds of the injured have been blinded and maimed, mostly by government forces firing bullets and shotgun pellets at rock-throwing protesters.

Curfews, communication blackouts, crackdowns and strikes have largely paralysed daily life.

India and Pakistan each administer a portion of Kashmir, but both claim the Himalayan territory in its entirety.

Rebel groups have been fighting since 1989 for either independence or a merger with Pakistan. Since then, more than 68,000 people have been killed in the uprising and ensuing Indian military crackdown.

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