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Four killed in attack on Indian Kashmir paramilitary camp


Three militants who Tuesday stormed a paramilitary base near the main airport in Indian-administered Kashmir have been killed, police said, ending an hours-long gunbattle that also left a soldier dead.

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

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

Flights at the airport, which shares a compound wall with the base, resumed after being suspended briefly with at least one flight from New Delhi cancelled, authorities said.

Kashmir’s inspector-general of police, Muneer Ahmed Khan, blamed Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed for the attack but denied some media reports that the fortified airport was the target.

He told reporters the Islamist group was a threat “because they believe in surprise suicide attacks”.

In August the group claimed responsiblity after three militants stormed a police base at Pulwama in Kashmir, killing eight government personnel. The three attackers were also killed in a two-day battle.

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 Indian soldiers deployed in the territory, demanding independence or a merger of the former Himalayan kingdom with Pakistan.

Tuesday’s attack came hours before an Indian soldier was killed by Pakistani fire on the de facto Kashmiri border in the mountainous Poonch district southwest of Srinagar.

The rival armies routinely target each other across the heavily militarised Line of Control that divides the territory.

On Monday the Indian army said it killed five suspected rebels in two separate gunbattles on the border.

Indian authorities said two children were also killed by Pakistani gunfire at another location along the Line of Control.

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

Islamabad says it gives only diplomatic support to the Kashmiri campaign for self-determination.

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

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