SRINAGAR, India, Oct 3, 2017 (BSS/AFP) – Suspected militants stormed a paramilitary base in Indian-administered Kashmir early Tuesday, police said, sparking a lengthy gun battle that left one soldier and two attackers dead.
Four paramilitary troopers were also injured when at least three militants hurled grenades and fired automatic weapons at the Border Security Force (BSF) base near Srinagar’s airport before dawn.
“Two militants have been killed so far, one is still there. And one BSF soldier was killed in the initial assault,” inspector general of police, Muneer Ahmed Khan told AFP.
Flight operations resumed at the main airport later in the day after being suspended briefly, director general of police, S.P. Vaid told AFP.
But fire between government forces and a lone surviving militant continued inside the base which shares a common compound wall with the airport, Vaid said.
At least one in-bound flight from New Delhi was cancelled, airport
officials said earlier.
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 (LoC) that divides the territory with Pakistan.
In August militants attacked a police base in souther Pulwama town killing eight security personnel during a day-long gun battle.
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 their side of the 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.