Four killed in gun­bat­tle in In­dian Kash­mir


Sus­pected rebels tried to storm an In­dian mil­i­tary camp in Kash­mir, spark­ing a fierce gun­bat­tle that left a civil­ian and three mil­i­tants dead near the bor­der be­tween the In­dian and Pak­istan­i­con­trolled parts of the Hi­malayan re­gion, of­fi­cials said Mon­day.

The fight­ing be­gan af­ter a group of heav­ily armed mil­i­tants en­tered the In­dian part of Kash­mir from the Pak­istani side, said Garib Das, a top po­lice of­fi­cer. They were spot­ted near an army camp in the Tangdhar re­gion early Sun­day. The intermittent gun­bat­tle be­gan af­ter the mil­i­tants were chal­lenged by the sol- diers, Das said.

It was not clear how the civil­ian was caught in the fir­ing, an army of­fi­cer said, speak­ing on cus­tom­ary con­di­tion of anonymity. He said the ex­change of gun­fire had stopped early Mon­day.

There was no in­de­pen­dent con­fir­ma­tion of the in­ci­dent, which oc­curred about 150 kilo­me­ters (95 miles) north­west of In­dian Kash­mir’s main city of Sri­na­gar near the heav­ily mil­i­ta­rized Line of Con­trol di­vid­ing the ter­ri­tory be­tween In­dia and Pak­istan.

Three army sol­diers and a mil­i­tant were killed in a gun­bat­tle in the same area last week.

Kash­mir is claimed by both In­dia and Pak­istan. They have fought two wars over its con­trol since they won in­de­pen­dence from Bri­tain in 1947.

In­dia ac­cuses Pak­istan of fund­ing and train­ing the mil­i­tants in the Pak­istani-con­trolled por­tion of Kash­mir and then help­ing them to in­fil­trate into the In­dian side. Islamabad de­nies the charge, say­ing it only gives moral and diplo­matic sup­port to the rebels.

More than 68,000 peo­ple have been killed in the armed con­flict that be­gan in 1989.

Although the armed re­bel­lion has been largely sup­pressed, public re­sent­ment against In­dian rule re­mains deep and the re­sis­tance is now prin­ci­pally ex­pressed through street protests.

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