Indian army says it killed 3 suspected rebels in Kashmir

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — The Indian army said Thursday that its soldiers foiled an attack on an army camp and killed three suspected rebels in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

Army spokesman Col. Rajesh Kalia said the militants fired at sentry posts and tried to enter an army camp in the forested Langate area early Thursday. The camp is the local headquarters of the counterinsurgency military unit.

He said the soldiers repulsed the attack, killing all the three attackers. Rajesh said three automatic rifles and some ammunition were recovered.

Army suffered no casualties in the incident. There was no independent confirmation of the incident.
The attack comes amid heightened tensions between India and Pakistan following last month’s rebel attack on an Indian military base that killed 19 soldiers before the four attackers were also killed.

India later retaliated, saying its Special Forces conducted a “surgical strike” and destroyed “terrorist launching pads” used by Pakistan-backed militants inside Pakistani-controlled part of Kashmir. Islamabad rejected the Indian account, saying it was a routine cross-border fire.

Since then, the nuclear-armed rivals have engaged in near-daily firing along their de facto frontier.

Both the countries claim the divided, disputed Himalayan region in its entirety. Most people in the Indian-controlled portion favor independence or a merger with Pakistan.

A militant uprising and subsequent Indian military crackdown since 1989 have killed more than 68,000 people.

India accuses Pakistan of training rebels in its territory and helping them infiltrate into the Indian side. Islamabad denies the charge, saying it gives only political and diplomatic support to Kashmiris.

The escalating tensions in the region come as Kashmir is witnessing largest protests against Indian rule in Kashmir in recent years, sparked by the killing in July of a popular rebel commander by Indian soldiers.

The protests, and a sweeping military crackdown, have all but paralyzed life in Indian-controlled Kashmir. More than 80 people have been killed in the protests.

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