Rebels storm Indian paramilitary camp in Kashmir; 7 dead

  • In this image made from video, smoke rises from a building inside a paramilitary camp in Lethpora, south of Srinagar, India Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017. Officials say a few gunmen entered the camp near southern Lethpora village early Sunday firing guns and grenades at the sentry. (AP Photo)

Associated Press
Sunday, December 31, 2017

SRINAGAR, India — Four Indian soldiers and three suspected militants were killed Sunday after rebels stormed a paramilitary camp in disputed Kashmir, officials said.

Separately, Indian and Pakistani soldiers traded gunfire along the highly militarized line dividing Kashmir between the two rivals, killing an Indian soldier, India’s army said.

In the incident at the paramilitary camp, gunmen in combat dress entered the camp near southern Lethpora village early Sunday firing guns and grenades at the sentry, said paramilitary spokesman Rajesh Yadav. He said soldiers inside the camp were responding to the attack, which left at least three soldiers wounded.

The initial assault left one paramilitary soldier dead and two others wounded. Police said reinforcements of army soldiers and counterinsurgency police encircled the camp and were exchanging gunfire with the assailants.

In the subsequent fighting, two more paramilitary soldiers were killed and another soldier died of cardiac arrest while being evacuated along with many others who were trapped in the camp’s residential buildings.

Yadav said troops recovered the bodies of three suspected militants and were searching a building in the camp for another militant.

The camp is located along the strategic highway connecting the Kashmir Valley with the rest of India and close to the chain of plateaus famed for Kashmir’s saffron fields. Besides counterinsurgency operations, the camp also serves as a training center for soldiers.

No rebel group fighting against Indian rule immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.