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Standoff at Kashmir school ends with militants' deaths

By Ed Adamczyk Follow @adamczyk_ed Contact the Author   |   Feb. 22, 2016 at 12:08 PM
| License Photo

PAMPORE , India, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- A three-day standoff in Kashmir between suspected militants who overtook a training school and the Indian army ended with the militants' deaths, police said Monday.

At least three gunmen attacked a military convoy Saturday in Pampore, near Srinagar in India-controlled Kashmir. The militants then took refuge in the Entrepreneurial Development Institute, a campus of several multi-story buildings.

More than 100 students and staff at the school were evacuated as the Indian military encircled the complex.

The militants set fire to some buildings and killed five soldiers and a civilian during a gunfight. The standoff ended after officials announced the three militants who overtook the school had been killed.

"The exchange of gunfire has ended. We're now clearing the huge building room by room," police officer Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gillani said, as quoted by Sky News.

The intruders were heavily armed and had access to the school's kitchens, suggesting they expected a long siege. Police described them as "anti-India rebels."

During the standoff, hundreds of local residents demonstrated in Pampore streets, chanting support for the militants, as well as anti-Indian slogans. The demonstrators ignored government orders to stay away from the site.

Kashmir, contested and administered by both Pakistan and India, has been a flashpoint of conflict since the countries' independence in the late 1940s.

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