Suspected rebels stormed a paramilitary camp in Jammu and Kashmir early yesterday leaving eight dead, police and security forces said, capping off the deadliest year in a decade for the state.
Armed militants lobbed grenades and fired automatic rifles to enter the camp of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) outside Srinagar, triggering a fierce exchange of fire as hundreds of soldiers and special counterinsurgency police surrounded the area.
“Four CRPF soldiers died in the attack. We killed three militants, the body of one them is yet to be retrieved,” Inspector General of Police, Munir Ahmed Khan said.
A spokesman for the paramilitary force, Rajesh Yadav earlier said another trooper died of cardiac arrest during the initial assault.
Three paramilitary troopers were wounded, Yadav said.
It was unclear how many personnel were inside the camp during the attack, which comes just days after Indian forces killed a top leader of Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohamed (JeM) in a shootout nearby.
Local media reports quoted a spokesperson for the group claiming responsibility for yesterday’s pre-dawn incident.
Rebel groups including JeM have since 1989 been fighting roughly half a million soldiers deployed in the state.
The fighting has left tens of thousands, mostly civilians, dead.
Officials said yesterday that at least 206 suspected militants, 57 civilians and 78 security forces personnel had been killed during the year, making it the deadliest in a decade.
State police chief S P Vaid said there were many misconceptions about “Operation All Out” started by the security forces in Kashmir in 2017.
“I want to make it clear that this operation is not only about killing militants, but also to bring them back into the mainstream.
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