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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 June 2018

Kashmir gun battle rages between Indian soldiers and militants

Nine people have been killed at an Indian army camp in Jammu

An Indian army vehicle moves outside a military camp in the city of Jammu on February 11, 2018, following an attack by suspected militants. Mukesh Gupta / Reuters
An Indian army vehicle moves outside a military camp in the city of Jammu on February 11, 2018, following an attack by suspected militants. Mukesh Gupta / Reuters

Nine people have been killed in a gun battle between Indian soldiers and militants that raged into its second day on Sunday at an Indian army camp in Kashmir, a police official said.

Militants stormed the camp early on Saturday and hundreds of police, army and paramilitary soldiers were rushed in to dislodge the fighters, said a home ministry official in New Delhi.

A senior police officer said five soldiers and a civilian were killed after militants breached the Sunjuwan army camp in the city of Jammu early on Saturday.

He said three militants had also been killed.

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The army camp is close to two shopping centres and public schools.

Officials said an unknown number of attackers were cornered inside the residential complex of the camp, where they were locked in a fierce standoff.

The director general of police for Jammu and Kashmir state, S P Vaid, said communications intercepts "suggest that the terrorists involved in the attack belong to Jaish-e-Mohammad group", a Pakistan-based separatist militant organisation.

India accuses Pakistan of training and arming militants and helping them infiltrate across the Line of Control that divides the Kashmir region. Pakistan denies the allegations.

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.

India’s army chief, Bipin Rawat, reached Jammu on Sunday morning to review the ongoing operation.