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Hundreds of policemen were still trading gunfire with Sikh militants in a Bombay shantytown Thursday after at least six people were killed in fighting that began with a police raid, authorities said.

Sikh militants, fighting for an independent nation in the northern state of Punjab, have often staged attacks in nearby states, but they have rarely operated in places as far south as Bombay.The city, India's largest and the capital of the western state of Maharashtra, is about 780 miles southwest of Punjab.

A Bombay police spokesman said four militants, one police constable and one resident of the Bhandup slum in eastern Bombay were killed overnight in the gunbattle. He said four residents and four police officers were wounded.