Five Indian Soldiers Killed in Gunfight in Kashmir

Indian authorities reported that five of its soldiers were killed in a fierce exchange of fire with insurgents fighting against the country’s rule in the Kashmir region on Monday (11/10). Violence in the disputed region has increased in recent weeks.

Police and soldiers surrounded a forested area in Surankote, south Kashmir, following intelligence reports that there were militant groups in the area, said Lt. Col. Devender Anand, a spokesman for the Indian army.

While troops launched a search operation, the insurgents opened fire, wounding an army officer and four other soldiers, Anand said. They were then evacuated to a nearby medical facility but ultimately the lives of all five could not be saved, he added.

Anand also reported that his party had sent additional troops and police to the area as fighting was still ongoing.

The rebel group itself has not yet released any statement.

India and Pakistan claim the entirety of the divided Kashmir region. Most Kashmiri Muslims support the rebels’ goal of unifying the region, either under Pakistani rule or as an independent state. Tens of thousands of civilians, rebels and government troops have died in the conflict, which has erupted since 1989. (ka/lt)

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