SRINAGAR, India: A gunbattle broke out Friday morning after militants attacked an Indian army camp in disputed Kashmir and left 10 Indian troops and three suspected militants dead, officials said.
An army officer told The Associated Press the up to six rebels were hurling grenades and firing automatic rifles as they tried to enter an artillery unit of the camp in Uri region before dawn. The sprawling camp, also the regional headquarters of the army’s artillery regiment, is near the heavily militarized line of control that divides the Himalayan region into an Indian-administered portion and a Pakistan-controlled side.
Seven army soldiers and three policemen were killed on the Indian side, while three militants were also killed, police said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to media.
Some rebels managed to enter the camp while wildly spraying bullets, officials said.
“The firing has stopped right now, but it appears that three militants are still holed up inside the camp,” the Indian police chief in Kashmir, K. Rajendra, said.
None of several rebel groups active in Kashmir issued any statement about Friday’s fighting, which erupted two days after a gunbattle broke out in the neighboring Handwara region. Six suspected rebels and one Indian army officer were killed.
The rebel groups have been fighting against Indian rule since 1989, with most of the violence happening in more temperate summer months. More than 68,000 people have been killed since 1989 in the uprising and Indian military crackdown, which also largely suppressed rebel activity.
There has been a flurry of recent attacks, however, as the region holds local elections. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited twice in the last month, and is due to return Monday to give a campaign speech in Srinagar… see more