CRPF officer, two militants killed in Kashmir

Srinagar: A CRPF commandant and two militants were killed in a gunfight here on Monday despite a strict curfew in the Kashmir Valley in view of terror threats on India's Independence Day. Pramod Kumar, commandant of the 49 Battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), was killed after four militants hurled a grenade and opened fire at a security patrol in an old city area. Nine paramilitary troopers were also injured in the attack. They have been shifted to a hospital. Police said the attackers entered a house in Nowhatta - close to the historic Jamia Masjid, the main mosque in Srinagar. "Two of the militants were gunned down and the other two are still firing from the house," a police officer told IANS.  Much of Srinagar has been under curfew continuously almost for five weeks since the killing of a militant commander on July 8 sparked widespread protests, leaving 56 people dead and thousands injured. Restrictions were tighter on Monday as separatists had called for pro-freedom protests to mark the Independence Day.