SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir
Two civilians and as many policemen were killed when suspected militants attacked a police team in Indian-administered Kashmir on Friday, police said.
Dilbag Singh, director general of police in Jammu and Kashmir, told reporters the militants attacked a police team in the northern Sopore town. Of the several injured in the attack, two civilians and two policemen later succumbed to their injuries.
Two more policemen and an equal number of civilians, who were injured in the incident, have been hospitalized.
Speaking to reporters, Vijay Kumar, Kashmir zone inspector general of police, said Lashkar-e-Taiba militant outfit was responsible for the attack.
No militant outfit has yet claimed responsibility.
The government forces have cordoned off the area and launched a search operation.
On March 30, suspected militants opened fire on a group of councilors in a municipal office in Sopore. Two councilors of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and a policeman were killed in the attack which police said was carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba militants.
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.
Since they were partitioned in 1947, New Delhi and Islamabad have fought three wars – in 1948, 1965, and 1971 – two of them over Kashmir. Also, in Siachen glacier in northern Kashmir, Indian and Pakistani troops have fought intermittently since 1984. A cease-fire took effect in 2003.
Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
According to several human rights organizations, thousands have reportedly been killed in the conflict since 1989./aa