SRINAGAR, India (REUTERS) – At least six militants attacked an Indian army camp in north Kashmir on Sunday (Oct 2) night, killing one border guard and wounding another, two weeks after a similar attack killed 19 Indian soldiers and ratcheted up tensions between India and Pakistan.
The attack on the camp of India’s 46 Rashtriya Rifles in Baramulla, which also houses a unit of the Border Security Force, started at around 10.30pm (1700 GMT) and repeated exchanges of fire ensued.
One border guard was killed and one wounded when militants tried to enter the army camp, said Baramulla Superintendent of Police Imtiyaz Hussein.
Nuclear-armed neighbours India and Pakistan have been at odds over Kashmir ever since independence nearly 70 years ago, fighting two of their three wars over the territory that they each rule in part but claim in full.
Hussein said the militants in the latest attack, who appear to have reached the camp by boat on a river that passes through the town, had escaped. “They fled under the cover of darkness,” he told Reuters on Monday morning.
India called its 4 Para special forces unit in to Baramulla and an operation continued into the morning to search and secure the army camp.
Baramulla is a district capital that lies on the road from Srinagar, the summer capital of India’s northernmost state, to the frontier settlement of Uri, where the Sept. 18 attack on the army base took place.
India launched retaliatory “surgical strikes” in the early hours of Thursday against militant camps on the Pakistani side of the Line of Control, announcing it had inflicted significant casualties.
Pakistan denied any such attack had taken place.
India’s announcement that it had conducted the cross-border raid was the first in decades, and raised international fears that its campaign to isolate Pakistan diplomatically and punish it militarily could lead to an armed escalation.
After the Indian operation, the United States urged India and Pakistan to show restraint. On Monday, Pakistan said the two countries’ national security advisers had been in touch in an attempt to calm the situation on the Line of Control (LoC). “Pakistan wants to reduce tensions on LoC and focus on Kashmir,” Sartaj Aziz, foreign policy adviser to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, said in a statement.