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2 police officers killed in Kashmir attacks

From Mukhtar Ahmad, for CNN
updated 6:23 AM EDT, Wed July 4, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The deaths come after a Sufi shrine burned down, prompting violent protests
  • No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks
  • The Himalayan territory of Kashmir is disputed between India and Pakistan

Srinigar, India (CNN) -- Two police officers were killed in two separate gun attacks in Indian-controlled Kashmir a week after a historic Sufi shrine in the Himalayan region's capital was destroyed in a fire, authorities have said.

The attacks took place Tuesday in districts within about 60 kilometers (37 miles) of the capital, Srinigar -- one in Pulwama District and the other in Kulgam District -- a police spokesman said.

In both cases, the assailants used pistols at close range to fire at the on-duty police officers before fleeing, the police spokesman said. The two officers were taken to hospitals where they died from their injuries, he added.

Kashmir is a disputed territory over which India and Pakistan have fought two wars. In recent months, it had been relatively calm compared with the deadly unrest of the summer 2010, which left 112 people dead and hundreds more wounded.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attacks on the police officers, which came a week after the 200-year-old shrine burned down, provoking widespread anger and violence. At least 20 people were injured in the ensuing clashes.

The violent protests and shutdowns prompted the authorities to put in place strict security restrictions for five days.

The shrine, a classic of Kashmir architecture, was named for an 11th-century Iraqi saint, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani, who never visited Kashmir.

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