Five killed in Kashmir shootout – officials
A militant attack on an Indian army outpost comes ahead of Independence Day festivities
A militant attack in a disputed region of Kashmir has killed three Indian soldiers and wounded two others, local officials claimed on Thursday. Two suspected attackers also died in the skirmish with government forces.
According to Mukesh Singh, Additional Director General of Police, at least two assailants armed with guns and grenades, attacked a military outpost in the Rajouri district in southern Kashmir. The shootout lasted for at least three hours, the official said.
“Two militants trying to sneak into a post in the dark at Pargal [army camp] in Rajouri were detected. They were engaged by alert troops,” Singh said.
The official added that the two wounded Indian soldiers are undergoing treatment.
According to an unnamed army official cited by Reuters, the area around the post was closed off while security forces conducted a search.
The assault comes several days before festivities for India’s Independence Day on August 15. It also occurred close to the third anniversary of the revocation of Kashmir’s constitutional autonomy.
Many Kashmiris believe that the loss of special status violates the rights of the Muslim majority. Constitutional autonomy was revoked from the region in 2019, sparking fears of unrest and triggering condemnation from neighboring Pakistan.
The muslim-majority region has been a disputed territory between India and Pakistan for over 60 years, with some separatists pushing for total independence and others seeking to move away from India and instead join with Pakistan. The area is split into two districts – the India controlled Kashmir Valley and the Hindu-dominated region around the city of Jammu, while Pakistan holds a sliver of land in the West.
The territorial dispute has resulted in multiple armed conflicts between the two nations since they gained independence from the British Empire.