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Gunmen shoot and kill 2 Kashmir activists of pro-India party

SRINAGAR, India (AP) – Police say suspected rebels have shot and killed two activists affiliated with a pro-India Kashmiri political group in the main city of disputed Kashmir.

Police say the shootings outside a meat shop in Srinagar on Friday also wounded another activist.

The casualties come ahead of phased elections for civic bodies that start Monday.

India says the polls are vital grass roots exercise to boost development and address civic issues.

Political separatist leaders and armed rebel groups who challenge India’s sovereignty over Kashmir have called for boycott, saying these polls are an illegitimate exercise under military occupation.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and both countries claim it in its entirety. Rebel groups demand that Kashmir be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.

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