Four Indian soldiers killed in Kashmir ambush

13 June 2008

JAMMU: Separatist rebels killed four Indian soldiers, including two senior officers, and their driver in an ambush in Indian Kashmir on Friday, an army official said. 'They were returning to their base camp when their vehicle was ambushed by the militants,' the official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters. 'All of them were killed on the spot after militants opened heavy and indiscriminate fire,' he said. No militant has claimed responsibility for the ambush. Those killed were a lieutenant colonel, a major, two soldiers and a driver, he said. An army spokesman said the attack took place 200 km (125 miles) northeast of Jammu, the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir state. Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since shortly after independence from Britain and is claimed in full by both. Indian Kashmir has seen widespread violence since an anti-India insurgency broke out in 1989, in which tens of thousands of people have been killed. Violence involving Indian troops and separatist militants has declined since India and Pakistan began a peace process in 2004. But people are still killed in daily shootouts and occasional bomb attacks. Earlier on Friday, suspected separatist militants threw a grenade near a crowded marketplace in Baramulla town to the north of the region's summer capital, Srinagar. At least 12 people were wounded, police said, adding the grenade was aimed at an army patrol.