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Iran Press TV

Three soldiers killed as Indian army convoy ambushed in Kashmir

Iran Press TV

Sat Dec 17, 2016 4:54PM

Three Indian soldiers have been killed when a military convoy came under attack in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

Indian officials said on Saturday that assailants on motorbikes opened fire on the convoy near the town of Pampore, south of Srinagar, the region's main city.

K. Rajendra Kumar, the police chief of Kashmir, said, "Motorcycle-borne militants ambushed an army convoy. There have been casualties but details are being ascertained."

An Indian army official, however, said three soldiers were killed.

An Indian Defense Ministry spokesman blamed the attack on what he called militants, adding that a search operation had been launched to find those responsible for the deadly attack.

The Himalayan region of Kashmir has been the scene of protests and tight security since early July, when Indian forces killed a leading pro-independence fighter. The protests have left nearly 90 civilians and two policemen dead and thousands more injured.

The recent violence in Kashmir has chilled ties between India and Pakistan.

Senior officials in New Delhi blame Islamabad for sending fighters and material into Indian-controlled Kashmir. Pakistan has repeatedly denied any involvement, saying New Delhi must agree to talks to resolve the future of Kashmir.

Diplomatic tensions heightened between the two sides in late October, when India ordered one employee of the Pakistani High Commission out of the country, saying he was a suspected spy. Islamabad expelled an Indian diplomat in a tit-for-tat move.

In addition, Pakistan has recently accused eight Indian diplomats of conducting acts of "espionage and terrorism" against Islamabad.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan, but claimed in full by both, since the two countries gained independence from Britain in 1947.

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