Indian forces on Monday killed three militants، including the suspected organizer of a suicide bombing in the disputed region of Kashmir that fueled tension between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan، police said، with five troops also killed in the clash، Reuters reported. The suicide bomb attack on a paramilitary police convoy in Indian-controlled Kashmir last Thursday killed at least 40 men، the deadliest single assault on Indian forces in 30 years of insurgency in the Muslim-majority region.
The Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack. India accuses Pakistan for harboring the group. Pakistan denies that.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi، facing an election that must be held by May، is under domestic pressure for decisive action against Pakistan.
Modi has promised a strong response and says he has given the military a free hand to tackle cross-border militancy.
The three militants killed in the clash on Monday were all Pakistani nationals and members of JeM، two security sources said. “The encounter is still in progress and the security forces are on the job،” police said in a statement.
But the 17-hour engagement، that ended shortly before 1330 GMT، came at a cost for India’s security services.
Four Indian soldiers and a policeman were killed، while nine troops were wounded، including a brigadier، one of the army’s top roles، and a deputy inspector general of police.