Five police officers, a soldier, two civilians and two suspected rebels were killed in two separate clashes in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Suspected rebels ambushed a police patrol in the town of Achhabal, killing five police personnel, a top police officer told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Rebels fighting to end Indian rule of Kashmir have stepped up attacks in recent weeks on government forces patrolling the area as counter-insurgency operations intensify.

Earlier, soldiers and a police special counter-insurgency force cordoned off Arwani village on a tip off that armed rebels were hiding in two homes, triggering a firefight, the officer said.

Two civilians, including a teenage boy, were killed when security forces fired at hundreds of villagers who marched to the site of the shootout to help the rebels escape, he added.

Two suspected rebels were also killed in the shootout, the officer said.

The unrest spread to neighbouring villages as thousands of residents clashed with government forces, hurling stones and chanting: "We want freedom" and "Go India, go back".

Separately on Friday, a soldier was killed when Pakistani soldiers fired at Indian posts in southern Naushera along the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Kashmir between the nuclear-armed rivals, an Indian Army spokesman said.