SRINAGAR - An Indian police officer and four freedom fighters were killed in separate incidents Sunday in Indian-held Kashmir as hundreds of residents clashed with security forces in the region hit by weeks of deadly unrest.

Indian soldiers shot and killed four fighters as they tried to cross the heavily militarised border that divides the disputed Himalayan region between India and rival Pakistan, an Indian army official claimed. "They tried to infiltrate into Nowgam sector and were intercepted. Four fighters were killed and their AK rifles were recovered," army spokesman NN Joshi said, referring to the area northwest of Srinagar.

An unknown number of attackers later killed a police officer in Poonch sector south of Srinagar, an officer in the area's police control room told AFP. Indian security forces were called in to hunt down the militants, sparking a fierce and ongoing gunbattle, the unnamed officer said, without giving more details.

The encounters with militants came as stone-pelting residents protesting against Indian rule of the region clashed with troops in Pulwana and two other places in the southern Kashmir Valley, leaving scores injured, police officers said.

Eighty civilians have been killed and thousands injured in the worst violence to hit the Muslim-majority territory since 2010.

A curfew has been lifted from much of the region since protests broke out over the death on July 8 of a popular young rebel leader in a gunbattle with security forces.

But the unrest shows few signs of abating, with residents continuing to take to the streets, while schools and most businesses remain closed, hitting the region's economy hard.