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Kashmir clashes kill 19

Relatives and neighbors of Parrey as his body is taken for burial.
Relatives and neighbors of Parrey as his body is taken for burial.

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SPECIAL REPORT
• Timeline: Kashmir history
• In-depth: Where conflict rules

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir (CNN) -- The latest clashes in the restive region of Kashmir Saturday have killed at least 19 people -- including a prominent Indian counter-insurgent leader, according to army and police sources.

A car carrying Mohammed Yousuf Parray, leader of an insurgency that counters Kashmiri militants, was ambushed by gunfire and grenades, killing Parray and seriously wounding four others, police said.

Parray, a former state legislator also known as Kuka Parray, was heading to watch a game in Hajan in northern Kashmir when his vehicle was ambushed by suspected militants.

Kashmir security officials said his death is a big blow to India's counter-insurgency movement.

In the northern Kashmiri town of Tang Dar, seven militants were killed in a gun battle with the Indian army, army sources said. Three other militants were killed in a separate battle with Indian forces in Kalaroos, also in northern Kashmir, the army said.

Saturday morning, gunmen opened fire on an Indian army camp in northern Kashmir, killing four soldiers and wounding six others, according to police and army sources.

The gun battle erupted around 11:30 a.m. (1 a.m. ET) at a temporary army camp in Dungus, in the northern district of Kupwara, about 56 miles (90 km) north of Srinagar.

Police blame fedayeen, or "suicide militants," for the attack.

Also Saturday, police say an improvised explosive device detonated on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, killing three people and closing the roadway about 28 miles (45 km) south of Srinagar.

And in a separate incident late Saturday, another improvised explosive device detonated in a field in the village of Manwan in the district of Kupwara 62 miles (100 km) north of Srinagar, killing one civilian and wounding two others, police said.

More than a dozen guerrilla groups have been battling Indian rule in Kashmir almost since independence from Britain and the creation of Pakistan.

Indian officials estimate 38,000 people have been killed during the 11-year military insurgency and blame Pakistan for stoking the fires, a charge Islamabad denies.

-- Journalist Mukhtar Ahmed in Srinagar and CNN Producer/Correspondent Ram Ramgopal in New Delhi contributed to this story.


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