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Militant attack on Indian army camp in Kashmir leaves two dead

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

A soldier was killed late on Sunday, May 27 when militants attacked an army camp in Kakapora, around 40 km (25 miles) south of Kahsmir’s main city, Srinagar, army spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia said.

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 group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The assaults were the first in the Kashmir Valley since the Indian army declared a halt to offensive military operations for Ramadan, the first of its kind in the region for nearly two decades. The militant groups did not accept the ceasefire, and violence in the region has continued.

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

India has around 500,000 soldiers deployed in Kashmir, which has been divided between nuclear-armed neighbours India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. They have fought three wars over the disputed territory.

Many civilians in Indian Kashmir – India’s only Muslim-majority state – support rebels who have been fighting since 1989 for decades for independence or for a merger with Pakistan. Tens of thousands, mostly civilians, have died.

India accuses Pakistan of fuelling the insurgency and arming rebels, but Islamabad says it only gives diplomatic and moral support to Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.

Meanwhile, heavy exchanges of fire between Indian and Pakistani forces earlier this month left at least 16 people dead on both sides. Around 80,000 citizens on the Indian side to fled their homes.


With reporting from AFP

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