Rebels storm army base, kill sol­diers

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

SRI­NA­GAR, In­dia (AP): REBELS FIGHT­ING against In­dian rule in the dis­puted Hi­malayan re­gion of Kash­mir stormed a cru­cial In­dian mil­i­tary base yes­ter­day, trig­ger­ing a fierce gun bat­tle that left at least seven army sol­diers and three mil­i­tants dead, of­fi­cials said.

At the same time in an­other part of Kash­mir, In­dian bor­der forces came across three sus­pected mil­i­tants who had al­legedly crossed the bor­der from Pak­istan into In­dia, touch­ing off an­other ex­change of fire in which all three were killed, para­mil­i­tary of­fi­cials said.

The re­newed vi­o­lence fol­lowed a five-day lull in fight­ing be­tween In­dian and Pak­istani troops, who have been ex­chang­ing heavy mor­tar and ar­tillery fire for months across the de facto bor­der that di­vides Kash­mir be­tween the two na­tions. In­dia has ac­cused Pak­istan of help­ing anti-In­dia rebels stage deadly attacks on its mil­i­tary com­pounds – an allegation Pak­istan de­nies.

Early Tues­day, at least two to four mil­i­tants dis­guised in police uni­forms opened fire on the mil­i­tary camp in Nagrota, a town on the main high­way con­nect­ing Kash­mir’s two main cities of Sri­na­gar and Jammu, ac­cord­ing to se­nior police of­fi­cer K. Ra­jen­dra.

The mil­i­tants then stormed the base and made their way in­side the camp, lob­bing grenades and draw­ing troops into ex­chang­ing fire, said an­other police of­fi­cer, S.P. Vaid.

An In­dian army state­ment on Tues­day evening said the mil­i­tants “forced their en­try into of­fi­cers’ mess com­plex by throw­ing grenades and fir­ing at the sen­tries”, leav­ing four sol­diers dead, in­clud­ing an of­fi­cer.

It said the at­tack­ers later en­tered two army build­ings, lead­ing to a “hostage-like sit­u­a­tion”.

The state­ment said in the sub­se­quent op­er­a­tion an army of­fi­cer and two more sol­diers were killed, but the sol­diers res­cued 12 sol­diers, two women and two chil­dren from the build­ings.

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