Four dead as at­tack­ers storm In­dian army camp

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

SRINAGAR: The In­dian army killed three sus­pected rebels and another per­son was shot dead dur­ing a six-hour gun bat­tle yes­ter­day on a mil­i­tary camp in In­dian Kash­mir near the bor­der with Pak­istan, a mil­i­tary spokesman said. Heav­ily-armed fight­ers stormed the army base in Tangdhar, 140 kilo­me­tres (87 miles) north­west of the main city of Srinagar, set­ting off grenades and fir­ing au­to­matic weapons.

“Three ter­ror­ists were killed in the ex­change of stand-off fire that be­gan in the morn­ing hours. One soldier was wounded in the fire­fight,” de­fence spokesman in Srinagar N N Joshi told AFP. A civil­ian who worked on the base was also killed in the fir­ing, Joshi said, adding that the at­tack fin­ished some six hours af­ter the mil­i­tants infiltrated the base.

Kash­mir has been di­vided be­tween In­dia and Pak­istan since the end of Bri­tish colo­nial rule in 1947. Sev­eral rebel groups have for decades been fight­ing In­dian forces de­ployed in the re­gion, seek­ing in­de­pen­dence or a merger of the ter­ri­tory with Pak­istan. The fight­ing has left tens of thou­sands dead, mostly civil­ians.

In­dia of­ten ac­cuses Pak­istan of arm­ing, train­ing and send­ing rebels across the heav­ily mil­i­ta­rized bor­der into In­dian-ad­min­is­tered Kash­mir. Is­lam­abad denies the charge, say­ing it pro­vides only po­lit­i­cal sup­port for their strug­gle for self-de­ter­mi­na­tion.

In July, three gun­men stormed a po­lice sta­tion in neigh­bor­ing Pun­jab state, close to the bor­der with Pak­istan, and killed seven peo­ple. The In­dian govern­ment said the at­tack­ers crossed the bor­der from Pak­istan be­fore launch­ing their as­sault that led to a gun bat­tle that lasted nearly 11 hours. The at­tack in Kash­mir comes on the eve of Thurs­day’s an­niver­sary of the 2008 at­tacks in Mum­bai which claimed 166 lives, and was blamed by In­dia on Pak­istan mil­i­tants.

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