SRINAGAR: Suspected militants stormed a paramilitary base in Indian-Occupied Kashmir early Tuesday, police said, sparking a lengthy gun battle that left one soldier and two attackers dead.
Four paramilitary troopers were also injured when at least three suspected militants hurled grenades and fired automatic weapons at the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) base near Srinagar’s airport before dawn.
“Two militants have been killed so far, one is still there. And one BSF soldier was killed in the initial assault,” said Inspector General of Police, Muneer Ahmed Khan.
Flight operations resumed at the main airport later in the day after being suspended briefly, said Director General of Police, SP Vaid.
But fire between government forces and a lone surviving suspected militant continued inside the base which shares a common compound wall with the airport, Vaid said.
The camp houses a battalion of Indian BSF and only barbed wire separates it from the Srinagar airport – controlled and run by the Indian Air Force. The camp has previously been a notorious interrogation centre where suspected rebels and their sympathisers would be detained, questioned and allegedly tortured, according to The Associated Press.
At least one inbound flight from New Delhi was cancelled, airport officials said earlier.
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947 but both claim the territory in full.
In August, suspected militants attacked a police base in southern Pulwama town killing eight security personnel during a day-long gun battle.
New Delhi says Pakistan initiates cross-border firing to help anti-India elements cross into IoK Kashmir. However, Islamabad says it provides only diplomatic support to the Kashmiri campaign for self-determination.
The South Asian neighbours have fought two of their three wars since independence in 1947 over Muslim-majority Kashmir, which they both claim in full but rule in part.