SRINAGAR - Indian soldiers shot dead five freedom fighters including a university teacher in a gunfight Sunday that triggered violent protests in which five civilians were killed.

Thousands took to the streets in south Kashmir to show support for the slain freedom fighters. Government forces opened fire to break up the protests, director general of police Shesh Paul Vaid said.

Hundreds of people were injured in the protests, according to doctors.

Government forces swooped on the village of Badigam, in Shopian district south of the capital Srinagar, following a tip-off about armed men holed up inside a house.

The armed men refused an offer to surrender, triggering a fierce gunbattle, Vaid told AFP. A special appeal was made to Mohammad Rafi Bhat, a university sociology teacher who only went underground with the armed men on Friday.

Kashmir University, where he taught, was ordered closed for two days, according to a university statement.

"We brought his father from his home to persuade him to surrender, but he, like all of them, refused," Vaid said, confirming five freedom fighters died in the firefight. A top commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, a key Kashmiri group, was also among the dead.

As news of the trapped freedom fighters spread, residents took to the streets across southern Kashmir shouting slogans demanding an end to Indian rule, witnesses and a police officer said.

Another police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said at least 30 people were injured in clashes with government forces who fired live ammunition, pellet guns and tear gas.

A doctor at a hospital in Shopian said hundreds of injured needed treatment.

"We have reached our full capacity. We have run out of essential medicines, there are no more ambulances," he told AFP.

On Saturday, three freedom fighters and a civilian had died during a firefight in Srinagar - the latest in a string of gunbattles in recent weeks across the territory disputed by India and Pakistan since they split in 1947. A curfew was ordered in the capital on Sunday and mobile internet services were shut down in much of the Indian-occupied region.

Fighting in Held Kashmir this year has left 120 dead, according to officials, including 22 civilians, 67 freedom fighters and 28 security forces.

India has deployed more than 500,000 soldiers in the restive region to tackle rising demand of freedom from Indian rule as civilian support for the men up in arms against India grows.

Islamabad says it only provides diplomatic support to Kashmiris' right to self-determination.