An Indian soldier stands guard during a curfew in downtown Srinagar, Kashmir, on May 30, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Indian forces have killed four suspected militants in the Bandipora district of New Delhi-controlled Kashmir amid rising tensions in the disputed Himalayan region.
Bhavesh Chaudhary, the spokesman for India’s Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), said Monday that the militants were trying to storm a paramilitary camp in the town of Sumbal, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Srinagar, the main city in Kashmir’s Indian-controlled part.
The four militants fired automatic rifles and lobbed grenades as they approached the CRPF camp, but soldiers at the sentry post intercepted them and engaged the militants in a firefight, Chaudhary said.
There was no independent confirmation of the attack and no group has yet issued any statement about the incident.
Since the 1947 independence from British rule, the disputed Kashmir region has been a bone of contention between India and Pakistan, which both claim sovereignty over the region.
Public opposition to Indian rule in Kashmir is deep and is now principally expressed through street protests marked by youths hurling stones at government forces.
Indian police arrest Kashmiri youths during clashes between Kashmiri students and government forces inside a colleage in Srinagar on May 22, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
The situation in Kashmir has been tense since late May, when Indian forces killed Sabzar Ahmad Bhat, a senior leader of the pro-independence Hizbul Mujahideen group, in his hometown of Tral.
The killing sparked violent protests in parts of Kashmir, leaving one civilian dead and dozens of others wounded.
Autonomy-seeking groups in Indian-controlled Kashmir have been fighting for the portion of Kashmir under Indian administration to become either an independent region or merged with neighboring Pakistan.
India blames Pakistan for the unrest, accusing Islamabad of training and arming anti-India forces. Pakistan denies the accusation.
The protests in Indian-controlled Kashmir have largely been suppressed by New Delhi’s forces in recent years.
Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict and the ensuing Indian crackdown, which is conducted by hundreds of thousands of Indian troops deployed to the region.

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