Indian paramilitary trooper killed in Jammu Kashmir

Indian paramilitary trooper killed in Jammu Kashmir

2 militants try to storm paramilitary camp in Srinagar city; operation against them continues

By Zahid Rafiq

SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir (AA) - An Indian paramilitary personnel was killed when militants tried to storm a paramilitary camp in Srinagar city, the capital of Jammu Kashmir, according to Indian paramilitary official.

It is after a long time that militants have launched an attack in the center of Srinagar city. The latest attack comes just two days after a militant attack on Sunjwan army camp in Jammu that lasted two days. Five Indian soldiers, four militants and a civilian were killed in the incident.

The paramilitary camp attacked on Monday is located close to a major city hospital from where militants on Feb. 6 freed a Pakistani militant commander, Naveed Jutt, from police custody after killing two policemen.

Militants were holding out in a nearby building that had been cordoned off by Indian forces, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) official said.

The attack began when guards at the headquarters of the CRPF-23 battalion in Karan Nagar area of Srinagar saw two suspicious figures approaching the camp at around 4.30 a.m. on Monday morning (2300GMT Sunday) with AK-47 rifles; they then opened fire on the suspected militants, CRPF Inspector General Ravideep Sahai told reporters.

"They couldn't enter the headquarters but sneaked in a building close to the headquarters. An operation is on,” Sahai said.

Intermittent exchange of fire has been reported from the site.

Indian armed forces have closed all roads leading to Karan Nagar, a business hub teeming with shops, restaurants and heath care facilities, including the city's general hospital.

Indian Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, has called for a high-level meeting in Indian capital New Delhi to discuss the situation in the restive Jammu Kashmir region.

Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.

The two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- since they were partitioned in 1947, two of which were fought over Kashmir.

Also in Siachen glacier in northern Kashmir, Indian and Pakistani troops have fought intermittently since 1984. A cease-fire came into effect in 2003.

Kashmiri resistance groups in Jammu Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.

More than 70,000 people have reportedly been killed in the conflict since 1989. India maintains more than half a million troops in the disputed region.

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