At least two militants attacked a paramilitary camp in the contested region of Kashmir today, killing five Indian solders. The two known insurgents died in the resulting firefight.
The attack took place on the Indian side of the disputed region of Kashmir. Tensions have been high in the region since India recently hung Afzal Guru for his role in the 2001 attack on India’s parliament.
Police have not yet determined if more than two people were involved in the attack on the Central Reserve Police Force base.
“A division of the CRPF was deployed at a camp here and children were playing cricket in the field when two militants fired grenades and attacked our division,” Abdul Gani Mir, inspector general of police, told Reuters. “We have lost five of our CRPF personnel who gunned down the two militants.”
The attack took place just outside the city of Srinagar. At least seven soldiers were wounded along with multiple civilians.
India and Pakistan have long contended for control over Kashmir. The two nations fought two of their three wars over the region. The Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 established the borders that have largely remained to this day, with half the region falling within India and roughly one-third falling within Pakistan with a contested border between them. The 1965 war ended in a stalemate and resulted in a UN-negotiated ceasefire. Both countries continue to claim authority to control Kashmir, while many Kashmiris wish to be separate from both and become an independent state.
Hizbul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for the attack. They seek for Kashmir to become a part of Pakistan. They were the most active military group during the height of unrest in the region.
Kashmir attacks against Indian control were frequent in the 1990s, but they have since slowed down significantly.
[Images via Wikimedia Commons]