Indian police kill militant commander in Kashmir; protests erupt

People stand on the rubble of a house after it was damaged during a gunbattle between militants and Indian security forces in Hakripora in south Kashmir's Pulwama district August 1, 2017. REUTERS/Danish Ismail

SRINAGAR, India (Reuters) - The top commander of an Islamist group was killed in Indian-ruled Kashmir on Tuesday, a police official said, triggering protests and prompting the authorities to suspend internet and train services.

Abu Dujana, of the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group, was gunned down with an accomplice in Pulwama district to the south of the region’s summer capital Srinagar, police spokesman Manoj Pandita said.

Acting on a tipoff, police launched a search in the village of Hadripora in the early hours and killed the two in a fierce encounter, Pandita said.

Dujana was implicated in several militant attacks in South Kashmir and had a cash reward of 1.5 million rupees ($23,400) on his head.

One protester was killed and several injured as clashes broke out at several places across Kashmir following the incident.

Unrest has simmered in Kashmir since a popular militant leader was killed just over a year ago, sparking clashes that have left more than 90 civilians dead.

India has been struggling to restore normality in Muslim-majority Kashmir, which both India and Pakistan claim in full but rule in part.

India accuses Pakistan of infiltrating militants across a de facto border to carry out attacks, a charge denied by Islamabad.

($1 = 64.0825 Indian rupees)

Writing by Malini Menon; Editing by Douglas Busvine and Michael Perry