At least 11 Indian security personnel were killed in a suicide attack on an army artillery camp in Jammu & Kashmir early today in an escalation of militant violence in the middle of elections in the state.
Eight soldiers, including an officer, and three policemen were killed when militants attacked an army artillery camp in Kashmir's Uri, a largely peaceful garrison town around 100 km northwest of Srinagar. Six militants were also killed.
The army said the heavily-armed group of militants entered the camp at around 3.30 am and opened fire.
In a second incident in Srinagar, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is due to campaign on Monday, two militants intercepted at a police post in the heart of the city reportedly opened fire. One of them was killed.
On Tuesday, the third phase of voting will be held in Uri and neighbouring areas.
Separatists have called for a boycott of the election and militants have stepped up attacks after a lull of months, but voters have turned out in record numbers on the two days of polling held so far, braving freezing temperatures and long lines. The ballots will be counted on 23 December.
Led by Prime Minister Modi in its campaign, the BJP is making its most serious bid yet to win power for the first time in the state, banking on votes in the Hindu-majority Jammu and Buddhist Ladakh areas. It is also capitalising on the rise of independents and splits elsewhere in Muslim-majority Kashmir.
The last major incident was on 27 November, when three soldiers and five civilians were killed after a group of terrorists crossed over the Line of Control, opened fire at an army column on patrol and entered an unused bunker in the Arnia sector of Jammu. Four militants were also killed.