SRINAGAR: Police in India-held Kashmir on Monday claimed that four suspected militants were killed during a sixteen-hour gun battle with Indian army personnel which ended late on Sunday, foiling an attack on a military base.
However, AP cited officials saying that the fierce gunbattle left a civilian and three militants dead near the border between the Indian and Pakistani-controlled parts of the Himalayan region.
It was not clear how a civilian was caught in the firing, an army officer said, speaking on customary condition of anonymity.
The fighting erupted near the border town of Tangdhar after the men were spotted approaching the base and then took shelter in two homes, said a police officer, who asked not to be identified because he is not authorised to discuss the matter.
The army fired mortars and machine guns at the buildings and airlifted 40 soldiers from an elite commando unit to battle the men, the officer said. The army is searching for two militants who may have escaped, he said.
“There were multiple blasts in these two houses as the militants were carrying a large quantity of ammunition that went off in the army operation,” the officer said.
The group of heavily armed militants entered the Indian part of Kashmir from the Pakistani side, said Garib Das, a top police officer.
This was the second major attack on the Indian army in the last week after three soldiers were shot dead by militants.
Militants in Kashmir also shot dead two men and threatened to kill employees working for mobile phone companies last week.