SRINAGAR - Gunmen on Saturday shot dead two policemen in Indian-occupied Kashmir, a disputed Himalayan region which has been tense since the hanging of a Kashmiri Muslim last month, police said.

The assailants fired at two paramilitary policemen from close range in the attack carried out near a bus stop in Kupwara district, north of the region’s main city Srinagar, police said.

“Gunmen fired at policemen who were discharging their duties near Handwara bus stand this morning. They were shifted to hospital where they were declared dead,” a police spokesman told a foreign news agency.

The Kashmir valley has been tense since Mohammed Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri Muslim, was hanged in February at a jail in New Delhi for his alleged involvement in a 2001 attack on India’s parliament which killed 10 people.

A curfew was temporarily imposed in major towns of Indian-held Kashmir following his execution to contain unrest which claimed three lives, including that of a teenaged boy shot by security forces.

Many in the Muslim-majority region believe Guru did not receive a fair trial and there are fears his hanging could fuel fresh violence in Held Kashmir, where a freedom struggle has claimed an estimated 100,000 lives over the last 20 years.

Nuclear-armed Pakistan and India have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir.