The Indian army on Friday claimed it had killed a dozen suspected militants in five days of fighting near the Line of Control (LoC) dividing disputed Kashmir between India and Pakistan.
Indian army spokesperson Naresh Vig said the fighting began on Monday after soldiers intercepted some militants crossing into a northern part of Indian Kashmir from the Pakistani side. He added that militants also made attempts to cross into the Indian side at three other places, leading to fierce gun battles with the troops.
Five militants were killed during a fierce gun battle with the army on Thursday in Hafrada forests, 100 kilometres from Srinagar. “The operation was launched on specific intelligence about the presence of a group of terrorists,” an officer told AFP, asking not to be named.
Further operations beginning on Monday saw another seven men killed around the LoC, Indian Army’s General Gurmit Singh told reporters. He claimed the militants belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba groups. There was no independent confirmation of the fighting.
About a dozen militant groups have been fighting Indian forces in Kashmir since 1989 seeking independence for the region or a merger with Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2013.