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India defense min warns Pakistan after attack on army camp

UPDATED: Mon., Feb. 12, 2018

Indian paramilitary force soldiers take position at the site of a gunbattle with armed militants in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. (Dar Yasin / Associated Press)
Indian paramilitary force soldiers take position at the site of a gunbattle with armed militants in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. (Dar Yasin / Associated Press)
By Dar Yasin Associated Press

SRINAGAR, India – India’s defense minister said Monday that gunmen belonging to the Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed were behind a weekend attack on an army camp in Indian-controlled Kashmir, and warned Islamabad that it “would pay for this misadventure.”

Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters in Jammu, the site of the attack, that New Delhi would present Pakistan with evidence of the involvement of the outlawed militant group and its leader Masood Azhar, who “derived support” from Pakistan.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement that it rejected all “insinuations” from Indian officials and media, adding that “We are confident that the world community would take due cognisance of India’s smear campaign against Pakistan, and the deliberate creation of war hysteria.”

At least three armed men attacked the Sunjuwan army camp at dawn Saturday and fought Indian troops for over 48 hours while holed up in the residential area of the camp. The attack left five soldiers and one civilian dead and 11 others injured.

In 2016, India blamed the same group for an attack on another army camp in Indian-held Kashmir that left 17 soldiers dead.

In continuing violence in the troubled Himalayan region, one paramilitary soldier was killed Monday when two gunmen opened fire near a paramilitary camp Srinagar, the region’s main city.

Kashmir is divided between India and archrival Pakistan. Both claim the region in its entirety.

Anti-India sentiment runs deep among Kashmir’s mostly Muslim population.

Several militant groups have been fighting for Kashmir’s independence from India or its merger with Pakistan since 1989. Around 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian military crackdown.

India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the militants, a charge it denies.

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