17 Indian soldiers killed in attack on Kashmir base

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Seventeen Indian soldiers and four suspected rebel
fighters have been killed in an attack on an army
headquarters

in Indian-administered Kashmir,
according to a statement by the army’s northern
command.
“Four terrorists killed in counterterrorist operation
at Uri. 17 soldiers make the supreme sacrifice,” the
command said on Twitter on Sunday, referring to
the Uri area, about 100km west of the troubled
northern region’s main city of Srinagar.
The fighters first attacked a frontline base close to
the border known as the Line of Control before
moving on to the headquarters, army spokesman
Colonel SD Goswami said.

Most of the fatalities happened in a tent that caught
fire, Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh, the Indian
army’s director general of military operations, told
the briefing in New Delhi.
Reuters television footage showed helicopters
flying in to evacuate the injured as an operation
continued to secure the area. Smoke rose from the
compound, set in mountainous terrain. The
Defence Ministry earlier put the number of
wounded at 35.
India accuses Pakistan
India has accused Pakistan of being behind one of
the most deadly attacks in Kashmir in a quarter-
century-old armed rebellion.
Lieutenant General Singh said that Sunday’s attack
bore the hallmarks of Pakistan-based armed group
Jaish-e-Mohammed. Evidence gathered at the
scene indicated the attackers were foreign and
their equipment bore Pakistani markings, he told
Reuters news agency.
“Our men are ready to give a befitting response,”
Singh said in response to a reporter’s question. He
did not elaborate.
Earlier, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
strongly condemned what he called the “cowardly
terror attack”.
“I assure the nation that those behind this
despicable attack will not go unpunished,” Modi
said in a series of Twitter posts.

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In an even stronger response, Indian Home
Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted: “Pakistan is a
terrorist state and should be identified and isolated
as such.”
Singh chaired a crisis meeting in New Delhi and
cancelled planned trips to Russia and the United
States.
Pakistan rejected allegations that it was involved.
“India immediately puts blame on Pakistan without
doing any investigation. We reject this,” foreign
ministry spokesman Nafees Zakaria told Reuters.
Tens of thousands killed
Army Chief Dalbir Singh Suhag and Defence
Minister Manohar Parrikar are to visit Kashmir after
the attack, the Indian media said.
The Himalayan region has been in the grip of
deadly unrest for more than two months, with
protesting residents clashing almost daily with
security forces, in the worst violence to hit the
region since 2010.
At least 87 civilians have been killed and
thousands injured in the protests against Indian
rule , sparked by the killing of a popular rebel
leader in a gun battle with soldiers on July 8.

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