Two Killed in Kashmir Militant Attack on Indian Army Camp


Two people have died in a shootout in the disputed territory of Indian Kashmir, officials said Monday, the first attacks since the army suspended operations against the militants for Ramadan.

A soldier was killed late Sunday when militants attacked an army camp in Kakapora, some 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of the main city of Srinagar, said army spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia.

A civilian driving past was also killed in the exchange, a police officer said.  

Three soldiers were later wounded when a roadside bomb was detonated underneath a military vehicle near Shopian district.

No militant group has claimed responsibility for the twin attacks.

The assaults were the first in the Kashmir Valley since the army declared a nearly 30-day halt to military operations, the first of its kind in the tense region for nearly two decades.

The decision meant Indian troops would pause operations against insurgents and halt door-to-door house searches, but would retaliate if attacked. 

Despite the suspension of operations, violence has not abated in the region bordering Pakistan, which also controls part of the disputed Himalayan territory but claims it in full, like India.

The Indian army claimed it killed five militants on Sunday as they tried to cross the heavily militarized border. 

On May 17, the army claimed three suspected militants were killed in a forest area near the border. 

Both incidents could not be independently verified.

In a separate clash along the border, a heavy exchange of fire between Indian and Pakistani forces this month left 16 dead on both sides, forcing around 80,000 citizens living on the Indian side to flee.

India deploys an estimated 500,000 soldiers in Kashmir, which has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British rule in 1947.

Rebel groups have been fighting for an independent Kashmir or a merger with Pakistan since 1989.

New Delhi accuses Pakistan of fueling the insurgency that has left tens of thousands of civilians dead, a charge Islamabad denies saying it only provides diplomatic support to Kashmiris' right to self-determination.

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