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Asia

Indian troops thwart cross-border attack

Indian soldiers say they have foiled an attack on an army base in India-administered Kashmir. Indian authorities say three armed militants wearing fatigues were killed trying to penetrate the army camp's perimeter.

Indian troops killed suspected militants who attacked an army camp Thursday in northern Kashmir state, the military said. "Three terrorists were killed in the operation and three AK rifles (were) also recovered from the site," army spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia told the AFP news agency. The clash reportedly lasted about a quarter of an hour.

The attempted strike was the second in Indian-administered Kashmir this week after militants killed a soldier while trying to raid a base in Baramulla town on Sunday.

Tensions have spiked since New Delhi said last week it had launched "surgical strikes" on militant posts across the disputed border that divides the Kashmir region between India and Pakistan. India is still reeling from last month's cross-border attack that killed 19 of its soldiers.

The escalating cross-border tensions come as many Kashmiris continue to protest against an Indian military crackdown that began this summer following the assassination of a high-profile separatist militant.

The protests, and a sweeping military crackdown, have all but paralyzed life in Indian-controlled Kashmir. More than 80 people have been killed, and thousands injured, as residents continue to defy curfews and demonstrate in towns and villages across the Muslim-majority state.

A militant uprising and the subsequent Indian military crackdown since 1989 has killed more than 68,000 people. India accuses Pakistan of harboring and equipping rebels on its territory and helping them infiltrate into the Indian side.

Islamabad denies the charge, saying it gives only political and diplomatic support to Kashmiris. Both countries claim all of the divided Himalayan region. Yet many Kashmiris advocate for full independence from both states.

jar/kl (AFP, Reuters)

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