Four killed in attack on Indian Kashmir paramilitary camp

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 October, 2017, 6:47pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 October, 2017, 6:47pm

Three suspected militants were killed on Tuesday after they stormed a paramilitary base near the main airport of Indian-administered Kashmir, police said, ending an hours-long gun battle that also left a soldier dead.

Three paramilitary troopers and a police officer were also injured as the trio of attackers hurled grenades and fired automatic weapons at the Border Security Force (BSF) base next to Srinagar airport before dawn, director general of police S. P. Vaid said.

“All the three militants have been killed. An assistant sub-inspector of BSF also died in the initial assault,” Vaid said.

Flight operations resumed at the high-security airport after being suspended briefly, with at least one inbound flight from New Delhi cancelled, authorities said.

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The base in which the gun battle took place shares a common compound wall with the airport.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947 but both claim the territory in full.

For decades rebel groups have fought roughly 500,000 Indian soldiers deployed in the territory, demanding independence or a merger of the former Himalayan kingdom with Pakistan.

Tuesday’s attack came a day after Indian soldiers killed five suspected rebels near the heavily militarised Line of Control that divides the territory with Pakistan.

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In August, militants attacked a police base in the southern Kashmir town of Pulwama, killing eight security personnel. Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for that attack.

Two children were also killed on Monday during an exchange of gunfire between Indian and Pakistani troops, Indian authorities said.

Last week, Pakistan said three civilians were killed on its side of the de facto border in Kashmir after Indian soldiers opened fire.

New Delhi says Pakistan initiates cross-border firing to help anti-India rebels cross into Indian-administered Kashmir to launch attacks.

However, Islamabad says it provides only diplomatic support to the Kashmiri campaign for self-determination.