Kashmir fighters kill two Indian soldiers in region’s main city

The attack comes amid heightened tensions between India and Pakistan along the Line of Control that divides Kashmir.

Indian security officers patrol near the site of an attack on the outskirts of Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir [Mukhtar Khan/AP]

Rebel fighters in Indian-controlled Kashmir have killed two soldiers in an attack in the disputed region’s main city, the Indian army said.

Colonel Rajesh Kalia, an Indian army spokesman, said fighters sprayed bullets at an army patrol on the outskirts of Srinagar city on Thursday.

Two soldiers were critically injured and later died at a hospital, he said.

Police and soldiers launched a search operation for the attackers.

The attack comes during near-daily fighting between Pakistani and Indian soldiers along the highly militarised frontier that divides Kashmir between the two nuclear-armed rivals.

The Indian army said Pakistani soldiers targeted Indian positions with mortars along the de facto border in southern Poonch district on Thursday. Indian soldiers retaliated, the army said in a statement. It did not report any casualties.

On November 13, nine civilians and six soldiers were killed on both sides as Indian and Pakistani soldiers exchanged artillery fire at multiple locations along the de facto border. The fatalities were some of the highest reported on a single day in recent years.

India and Pakistan claim the region in its entirety. They have fought three wars, two of them over control of Kashmir, since British colonialists granted them independence in 1947.

A Kashmiri woman walks past security officers keeping guard near the site of an attack on the outskirts of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir [Mukhtar Khan/AP]

Rebels have been fighting against the Indian rule since 1989. Most Muslim Kashmiris support the goal that the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.

Tensions in the disputed Himalayan region have escalated since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government scrapped Kashmir’s special status in August 2019, annulled its separate constitution, split the region into two federal territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh – and subsequently removed inherited protections on land and jobs.

The move triggered widespread anger and economic ruin amid a harsh security clampdown and communications blackout.

Source: News Agencies

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