SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- Thirteen people including four Indian army troopers, three militants and four Indian policemen were killed Thursday in twin attacks on an army base and a police station in Indian-controlled Kashmir, police said.
The daylong offensive on army base in Samba district of Jammu division ended Thursday evening. "The gunfight inside the army base has ended with the killing of three militants who had sneaked inside,"Rajesh Kumar, inspector general of police, told reporters on the spot.
The militants wearing army uniforms disguised as Indian army troopers first attacked Hiranagara police station in Kathua district, about 200 km south of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir and later on stormed an Indian army base at Samba. "The attack took place at 6:45 a.m. local time Thursday after three militants wearing army uniform, forcibly entered the police station firing bullets and killing four policemen and two civilians,"said Kumar.
Samba army base houses Indian army's 16 Cavalry regiment and is 20 kilometers away from Hiranagar.
Indian army moved tanks and used helicopters to track down militants. "The gunfight inside the army camp resulted in killing four army personnel including an officer of the rank of lieutenant colonel and wounding three others,"said an Indian army official.
The wounded persons including troopers in these two attacks are undergoing treatment at hospitals.
A lesser-known Shohada (martyrs) Brigade militant outfit claimed responsibility for Thursday's attacks in Jammu province, saying the attackers involved were local militants.
The attack came days ahead of meeting between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif. The duo are likely to meet on the sidelines of the 68th United Nations General Assembly in New York this weekend.
Though the attack was seen as an effort to derail the meeting between the two country heads, however, Singh has issued a statement saying the twin-militant attack in Indian-controlled Kashmir would not deter India from pursuing peace through dialogue.
In 2002, militants had attacked Kaluchak army camp in the same area in Samba district and killed 31 people.
New Delhi accuses Islamabad of providing arms and training to Kashmiri militants. However, Islamabad says it only provides moral and political support to Kashmiris.
Militants seeking the end of New Delhi's rule have been engaged in a guerrilla war with Indian troops stationed in the region since 1989.
Kashmir, the Himalayan region divided between India and Pakistan, is claimed by both in full. Since their independence from British, the two countries have fought three wars, two exclusively over Kashmir.