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Page last updated at 11:32 GMT, Friday, 15 January 2010

Kashmir police station attacked

Indian paramilitary soldiers
The beginning of 2010 has been characterised by violence

Militants in Indian-administered Kashmir have attacked a police station, killing one police officer and a civilian, officials say.

They say that three policemen and another civilian were injured in the attack in the town of Sopore 55km (35 miles) north-west of Srinagar.

Latest reports say that police and the militants are still exchanging gunfire.

Violence in Kashmir has decreased since 2004 when India and Pakistan signed a peace treaty.

But in recent weeks there have been outbreaks of fighting.

Last week security forces stormed a hotel in Srinagar killing two gunmen and ending a stand-off that lasted almost 24 hours.

Flashpoint

Panicked shop owners in Sopore are reported to be fleeing the latest violence.

"We downed shutters of our shops and started running away as we first heard sounds of explosions followed by gunshots," Firdous Ahmed told the AP news agency.

No rebel group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Earlier this week the Indian defence minister announced that troops had vacated all hospitals and schools in Indian-administered Kashmir because of the improving security situation there.

A 20-year insurgency against Indian rule in Jammu and Kashmir has claimed more than 47,000 lives since 1990.

Kashmir has been a flashpoint between India and Pakistan for more than 50 years and the scene of two of their three wars.



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