Two army officers, two militants killed in Indian-controlled Kashmir
By Newsdesk with agency report
At least two junior-level officers of the Indian army as well as two militants were killed while nine others, including women and children, injured on Saturday in an ongoing gunfight in restive Indian-controlled Kashmir.
The Indian army, which confirmed the development in a statement, said the fierce gunfight broke out early Saturday morning after gunmen believed to be fidayeen (suicide attackers) indiscriminately opened fire and entered a highly fortified military camp at Sunjawan in Jammu, the winter capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.
“The army has killed two militants in the ongoing operations inside the camp,” an army official told Xinhua. “We have also lost two officers. Four soldiers, and five women and children were also wounded,” the statement said.
The statement added that over 150 houses inside the camp were cleared and their inmates evacuated to safer locations.
Local government minister, Abdul Rehman Veeri, also confirmed that two officers were killed and three troopers including an officer of the rank of colonel were wounded,adding thata daughter of a slain army officer was also wounded.
Officials said no sooner the militants entered the camp, they took refuge inside the family headquarters and engaged the troopers in a fierce gunfight.
The army had to rush reinforcements of police and paramilitary to take on militants inside the camp. It also used helicopters to locate the positions of militants. Around 500 meters around the camp have been sealed.
Reports said the stand-off continued.
“The operation will continue until the area is completely cleared of militants,” the army official said.
Following the attack, the region’s Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti chaired a high level security meeting in Jammu with top police and civil officers attending.
Officials suspect four to five militants have managed to enter the highly guarded camp to take on army personnel present there.
In December last year, a similar attack on highly fortified paramilitary camp in the region ended with killing of five Central Reserve Police Force personnel and three militants.
A guerrilla war is going on between militants and Indian troops stationed in the region since 1989.
Kashmir, the Himalayan region divided between India and Pakistan is claimed by both in full. Since their independence from Britain, the two countries have fought three wars, two exclusively over Kashmir.