SRINAGAR  - Indian troops on Friday shot dead two suspected freedom fighters in Held Kashmir while seven civilians received police bullet injuries when they protested the slaying of the rebels, officials said.

The two suspected freedom fighters allegedly belonging to Lashkar-e-Taiba group were killed while three troopers were wounded in a firefight with the fighters in Pulwama town, 30 kilometres from Occupied Kashmir’s summer capital Srinagar.

Vijay Kumar, deputy inspector general of police in Pulwama, also said seven civilians who attacked a military ambulance to protest the killing of the people were wounded when police fired on them. A curfew has been imposed on Pulwama, he added.

The officer said the two were behind a grenade attack on a taxi in July that led to the death of four women tourists in Kashmir.

One of them was also involved in a grenade attack last month at a liquor store in the Kashmiri city of Jammu, which left one man dead and five others injured, Kumar said.

Separatist violence in the region has dropped sharply since India and Pakistan started a peace process in 2004 but occasional gunfights erupt between suspected freedom fighters and the security forces.

India accuses Pakistan of backing freedom fighters on its side of the divided region, a charge Islamabad denies.