INDIA

Kashmiri militants kill three soldiers in ambush outside Srinagar

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 May, 2013, 3:11pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 25 May, 2013, 1:26am
 

Armed militants killed three soldiers on Friday in an ambush outside Srinagar, the main city of Indian Kashmir, an army spokesman said.

The soldiers were searching for militants during a patrol when they were ambushed in the village of Hardu Buchoo, 30 kilometres southeast of Srinagar near the forested area of Tral, the spokesman said.

“The militants fired at the soldiers from outside the village, when the cordon was laid and three of our soldiers were killed,” Lieutenant Colonel Ankur Vashist said in Srinagar.

Militants fired at the soldiers from outside the village, when the cordon was laid and three of our soldiers were killed
Lieutenant Colonel Ankur Vashist

The militants fled into the forest and the army called in reinforcements, Vashist said. Another soldier was wounded in the ensuing gun battle with the militants, he said.

The bodies of the slain soldiers have not yet been retrieved, he added.

The ambush comes a day after government forces killed a top militant from outlawed group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in Srinagar during an early morning gun battle.

Armed rebels have fought Indian security forces in Kashmir since 1989 for the independence of the region or its merger with Pakistan. The conflict has left tens of thousands, mostly civilians, dead so far.

Militants killed four police in April in an ambush, while a group of militants disguised as cricketers gunned down five paramilitary police in March in an ambush in Srinagar.

Indian Kashmir has been tense since the execution in February of a local man over a deadly 2001 attack on the national parliament in New Delhi.

Mohammed Afzal Guru, a local separatist, was convicted over the attack, but he retained widespread support in Kashmir where many doubted his guilt.

Much of Kashmir has since been put under curfew repeatedly while protests and strikes have disrupted daily life.

Kashmir is split between India and Pakistan along a UN-monitored line of control, but both claim it in full and have fought two wars over its control.

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