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SRINAGAR, India — Three Indian soldiers and a woman were killed after rebels ambushed soldiers in the disputed region of Kashmir, police said on Thursday.

Inspector-General Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gillani said the militants tossed grenades and sprayed bullets at soldiers after they were returning from a search operation in the southern Shopian area early Thursday.

Gillani said the attack triggered a brief exchange of gunfire and a stray bullet hit the 60-year-old woman while she was sleeping in her home.

Three soldiers, including two officers, were also injured in the attack.

India and Pakistan each administer a portion of Kashmir, but both claim the Himalayan territory in its entirety. Most people in the Indian-controlled portion favor independence or a merger with Pakistan.

Rebels have been fighting against Indian rule since 1989. Since then, more than 68,000 people have been killed in the armed uprising and ensuing Indian military crackdown.