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Suspected militants killed in Kashmir

September 21, 2016

Indian army officials say at least eight gunmen have been killed in the latest clashes along the disputed frontier with Pakistan. The violence follows a major attack on an Indian base on Sunday.

Indian military
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/D. Yasin

One Indian soldier was killed during Tuesday's gunfight with suspected militants who were trying to cross the Line of Control (LOC), the de facto border between India and Pakistan, army spokesman Manish Kumar said.

Another military spokesman, Colonel Rajesh Kalia, described the incident - which took place near Uri, the location of Sunday's attack - as a "ceasefire violation."

"A group of 10-12 terrorists attempted to infiltrate the Uri sector. They were intercepted and the infiltration bid was foiled," Kalia told the Agence France-Presse news agency.

Tuesday's violence disputed

Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria denied that any shots had been fired by Pakistan on Tuesday, while a Pakistani colonel said there had been no firing along the border.

Tensions between India and Pakistan have risen sharply following Sunday's assault, which saw four commando-style gunmen killed 18 Indian soldiers at an army headquarters in Uri.

Pakistan has denied any role in the raid, one of the deadliest in the divided Himalayan region.

While some Indian politicians have vowed revenge for the attack, others have called for a measured response, which is likely to see a more diplomatic response from New Delhi.

PTI suggested that India may raise the issue at the United Nations level.

India's Cabinet Committee on Security is set to meet on Wednesday to discuss the latest violence, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.

Protesters in Kashmir
Protests have erupted in recent weeks in the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley since the killing of a local militant commanderImage: picture-alliance/Pacific Press/U. Asif

The area has seen a spike in violence after Indian security forces killed a popular Kashmiri militant leader in July, which led to protests that killed more than 80 civilians.

Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since the end of British rule in 1947. Both claim the disputed Himalayan territory in its entirety and have fought two wars over it.

India accuses Islamabad of having a hand in an ongoing insurgency against some 500,000 Indian troops deployed to the region.

But Pakistan denies backing militants and says it only gives moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people in their struggle for self-determination.

India's Cabinet Committee on Security is set to meet on Wednesday to discuss the latest violence, Press Trust of India reported.

mm/kl (AFP, PTI, Reuters)

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