WATCH: 17 soldiers dead in Indian army base attack in Kashmir

WATCH: 17 soldiers dead in Indian army base attack in Kashmir
Image via Twitter

Srinagar - A top army officer says 17 soldiers, 4 rebels dead in attack on Indian army base in Kashmir.



By AFP

Published: Sun 18 Sep 2016, 10:01 AM

Last updated: Mon 19 Sep 2016, 8:48 AM

Seventeen soldiers were killed during an attack by militants on an army headquarters in Kashmir on Sunday, the army's northern command said.
"Four terrorists killed in counter-terrorist operation at Uri. 17 soldiers make the supreme sacrifice," the command said on Twitter, referring to the Uri area, about 100 kilometres (62 miles) west of the troubled northern region's main city of Srinagar. 

A police source told Reuters that the number of soldiers killed in the attack had risen to 17, making the toll far worse than a similar raid on an army base in Punjab state in January that India has blamed on Pakistan-based militants.

HIGHLIGHTS
* Raid on Indian base near de facto border with Pakistan
* One of most deadly attacks in insurgency
* Attackers will not go unpunished: Indian PM
* Pakistan is a terrorist state: Indian home minister
* Pakistan denies any role

The army deployed helicopters to evacuate soldiers had been injured in the dawn attack that was followed by an hours-long gunfight. The Defence Ministry in New Delhi put the number of wounded at 35.
The raid comes amid heightened tension in Kashmir, which has faced more than two months of protests following the July 8 killing of a popular separatist field commander.
At least 78 civilians have been killed and thousands injured in street clashes with the Indian security forces, who have been criticised by human rights groups for using excessive force including shotguns that fire pellets that have blinded people.
Those responsible for Uri attack will be punished: PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday condemned the killing of 17 soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir and said those responsible for it will not go unpunished.
Force activation
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said in a series of Twitter posts that he had spoken to the region's political and military leadership and had instructed senior officials to monitor the situation.
He cancelled planned trips to Russia and the United States.
"We have activated the entire force in and around Uri sector to step up security and launch combing operations," a senior Home Ministry official said.
"It is clearly a case of cross-border terror attack. We don't know which militant group is involved," this official added.
There has been no claim of responsibility.
The military death toll was the worst in Kashmir at least since a raid in December 2014, also near Uri which is to the west of the region's main city of Srinagar, in which eight soldiers and three police were killed.
 


More news from WORLD