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8 Killed in Rebel Attack on Police Convoy in Kashmir

by VOA News June 25, 2016

Eight police officers were killed Saturday during a militant ambush in Kashmir, India.

The attack, which targeted a security convoy of the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on a highway near Pampore, left 20 officers injured. Pampore is 15 kilometers from the state capital, Srinagar.

Police killed two of the attackers. The wounded police officers were taken to a hospital in Srinagar.

"Firsthand information after looking at the bodies is, both appear to be Pakistanis, definitely from Lashkar, and in all likelihood, they were fidayeen. Two AK-47 rifles have been recovered from them," said CRPG Inspector General Nalin Prabhat.

"I salute the courage of the CRPF personnel martyred today in J&K. They served the nation with utmost dedication. Pained by their demise. My thoughts are with the families of those martyred today. May those injured recover soon," Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted on Twitter.

For decades, rebel groups have fought for Kashmir's independence from India, often attacking government officials.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also condemned the killings.

"The only purpose of such blood-spattered acts of violence is to add to the tragedies and miseries of the people," she said in a statement.

Indian Junior Home Minister Kiren Rijiju said the attack was a matter of grave concern.

"Tomorrow, the CRPF director general of police and other senior officials will go to Srinagar to carry out investigations because it is a matter of grave concern for us that so many security personnel have been martyred," Rijiju said.

India accuses Pakistan of arming and training insurgents fighting for Kashmir's independence from India and its merger with Pakistan. Islamabad denies the charge.

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