Kashmir freedom struggle is far from over

Kashmir freedom struggle is far from over

SRINAGAR - At least three suspected fighters and four Indian soldiers have reportedly been killed in an attack on an Indian military camp in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, Indian officials say.

The fatalities occurred early on Sunday after “heavily armed” gunmen stormed a military training camp near the southern Lethpora Village in Kashmir’s Pulwama district, an Indian paramilitary official said.

The assailants started firing guns and throwing grenades at the camp sentries, said paramilitary spokesman Rajesh Yadav, adding that the soldiers inside the base responded to the attack, which also left at least three Indian forces wounded.

Yadav said Indian troops had recovered the bodies of three suspected fighters from the attack and were searching a building in the camp for another militant.

A group reportedly claimed responsibility for the deadly assault.

India regularly accuses Pakistan of arming and training militants and pushing them across the restive frontier in an attempt to launch attacks on Indian forces. Pakistan strongly denies the allegation.

India has already deployed some 500,000 soldiers to the disputed region to further boost the security of the borderline and suppress pro-independence demonstrations in its share of Kashmir, where anti-India sentiments are high.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan but claimed in full by both since the two partitioned and gained independence from Britain in 1947. Armed roups have also for decades been fighting for independence or a merger with Pakistan.

The two countries have fought three wars over the disputed territory. Despite a ceasefire agreement that was reached in November 2003, sporadic skirmishes continue in Kashmir.