December 31, 2017 / 3:21 PM / 5 months ago

Four Indian police, two militants killed in Kashmir attack: police

SRINAGAR (Reuters) - Four Indian paramilitary policemen and two militants were killed in a gunbattle that ensued after militants stormed into a police training center in Kashmir on Sunday, a police official said.

Policemen stand guard outside the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) training centre during a gunbattle with suspected militants in Lethpora in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, December 31, 2017. REUTERS/Danish Ismail

At least two militants entered the building at around 2:30 a.m. at Letpora, south of Srinagar, Rajesh Yadhav, a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) spokesman told Reuters.

The militants fired indiscriminately and lobbed grenades before heading into the center, Yadhav said.

He said two militants and four police were killed in the gunbattle.

India's Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel carry a coffin containing a body of their colleague, who was killed during a gun battle with suspected militants at CRPF training centre, in Lethpora in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, December 31, 2017. REUTERS/Danish Ismail

SN Srinvastav, special director general of the CRPF, said that there could be one or more militants still hiding.

“We hope that we will conclude the operation as soon as possible”, he said.

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S P Vaid, director general of Jammu and Kashmir police, said that a search operation was going on, adding that they had received tip-offs about an impending militant strike in the Kashmir for the past three days.

“They (militants) were trying. They probably could not get a place and time earlier. So, they struck last night,” Vaid said.

Militants have targeted police camps in Kashmir in recent months. Eight Indian police officials were killed when Jaish-e-Mohammad militants attacked a security camp in southern Kashmir in August.

Indian troops have killed 206 militants this year, Vaid said. Last year’s total was 150.

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

The South Asian neighbors 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.

Writing by Sudarshan Varadhan; Editing by Alison Williams

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