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JUST IN: Five Indian soldiers killed in militant attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua

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SOURCE: www.thenationalnews.com/

At least five soldiers were killed and six injured in an ambush by militants in the Jammu region of Indian-administered Kashmir.

The militants threw grenades and hit a convoy of army vehicles on routine patrol with heavy gunfire in the remote Machedi area of Kathua district on Monday.

It was the second major incident of violence in the volatile region in two days.

Two army personnel and six militants were killed in separate gunfights in south Kashmir’s Kulgam at the weekend.

On Tuesday, India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh offered his condolences to the soldiers’ families.

“I am deeply anguished at the loss of five of our brave Indian Army Soldiers in a terrorist attack in Badnota, Kathua (J&K),” Mr Singh said on X.

“My deepest condolences to the bereaved families, the nation stands firm with them in this difficult time.

“The counter terrorist operations are under way, and our soldiers are determined to usher in peace and order in the region. I pray for a speedy recovery to those who sustained injuries in this dastardly terror attack,” he said.

An Indian security officer stands guard as Hindu pilgrims set off for the cave shrine of Amarnath from a base camp in Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir, in June. AFP
An Indian security officer stands guard as Hindu pilgrims set off for the cave shrine of Amarnath from a base camp in Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir, in June. AFP

Jammu and Kashmir – the Himalayan disputed territory – is ruled by India and Pakistan in parts but has been claimed by both in its entirety since British colonisers left the subcontinent in 1947.

A decades-long armed rebellion against New Delhi’s rule has left tens of thousands of people dead, with anti-India sentiments running high.

New Delhi accuses Islamabad of training and arming the militants, a charge denied by the rival nation.

There has been an increase in armed violence in the region since New Delhi’s decision to strip it of its limited autonomy in 2019 and bring it under its direct control.

The government argued that the semi-autonomous status fuelled separatist sentiments in Kashmir, which remains at the centre of a territorial dispute with India’s nuclear-armed arch-rival Pakistan.

But militant attacks in the Jammu region have also increased in recent years.

Five soldiers and a special police officer were injured after gunmen opened fire at government forces at an army base in Doda’s Chattargala in June.

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