Thousands participate in funeral of 2 teenage Kashmir rebels

Indian soldiers stand guard near the site of a gun-battle in Mujagund area some 25 Kilometers (16 miles) from Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sun

Indian soldiers stand guard near the site of a gun-battle in Mujagund area some 25 Kilometers (16 miles) from Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sun

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Thousands of people in Indian-controlled Kashmir have joined a funeral procession for two teenage rebels who were killed over the weekend in a long gunbattle with Indian troops in the disputed region.

Villagers carried the teens' bodies to a "martyr's graveyard" in the northern town of Hajin on Monday. They chanted slogans eulogizing anti-India militants and demanding an end to Indian rule over the Himalayan region.

Police say the two friends, 14-year-old Mudasir Rashid Parray and 17-year-old Saqib Bilal Sheikh, joined the rebel ranks in late August.

The two teens and a militant commander were killed Sunday in fighting with government forces that lasted nearly 18 hours, triggering anti-India protests and clashes in the region.

India and Pakistan both claim the divided territory of Kashmir in its entirety.