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Indian army killed three militants

25 November, 2015

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SRINAGAR: Indian army commandos killed three militants holed up in an officers' mess and another person was shot dead during a six-hour gunbattle at an army base in India-held Kashmir on Wednesday, a senior army officer said.

The gunmen cut a perimeter fence and penetrated the battalion headquarters in Tangdhar in northern Kashmir. "It seems to be a well planned attack," said the army officer, who asked not to be identified because he is not authorised to speak on the record.

Bodies of the three gunmen and of one unidentified individual, believed to have worked on the base, were recovered, the officer added. He said the attackers armed with AK-47s had taken up positions in the officers' mess and blown up a kerosene tank, wounding one person. The gunmen entered the army camp at around 6am and the firing started about an hour later, the officer said.

An officer speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to reporters earlier said an army soldier had been injured in the fighting. He said the militants had used grenades and gunfire to attack the camp.

The Indian Express website reported that one Indian army officer and a civilian were killed in the operation.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan by the UN-monitored de facto border of LoC but is claimed in full by both the countries.

Since 1989 fighting between about a dozen rebel groups, seeking independence or a merger of the territory with Pakistan, and Indian forces has left tens of thousands dead, most of them civilians.

More than 68,000 people have been killed in the fighting and in a subsequent Indian military crackdown.

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