3 Pak militants, one civilian killed in Tangdhar gunfight

25 November 2015

Indian army commandos shot dead three militants holed up in an officers' mess while a civilian was also killed during a six-hour gun battle at an Army base in Kashmir today, a senior army officer said.

The gunmen cut a perimeter fence and penetrated the battalion headquarters in Tangdhar in northern Kashmir. ''It seems to be a well-planned attack,'' said the Army officer.

Bodies of the three gunmen and of one unidentified individual, believed to have worked on the base, were recovered, the officer added. He said the attackers armed with AK-47s had taken up positions in the officers' mess and blown up a kerosene tank, wounding one person.

The gunmen entered the army camp at around 6 am and the firing started about an hour later, reports said.

''There was a standoff fire from Kalsuri Ridge (in Tangdhar sector) towards an army camp this morning,'' the officer said.

After about seven hours of intense gunbattle, Army said all the three militants involved in the attack were killed.

The attack was similar to the one in July in Punjab, near the border with Pakistan, when a group of gunmen dressed in military fatigues took over a police station. The attackers were all killed in a 12-hour gun battle.

Tangdhar sector is close to the LoC in Kupwara district and has been used as an infiltration route in the past.

The seventh anniversary of the Mumbai attack by the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group, which killed 166 people, falls on Thursday.

The recent attack by Islamist militants in Paris has heightened concerns over the vulnerability of Indian cities to such attacks. Militant violence remains a problem in Kashmir although levels of violence are down from the levels of the 1990s when an armed revolt against Indian rule erupted.

In the first 10 months of this year, 79 people were killed in attacks, a similar number to those who died in 2014 and 2013, according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal, which tracks militant violence.

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