By Zahid Rafiq
SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir - Five Indian soldiers and a civilian have been killed so far in Saturday's militant attack on an army camp in Jammu Kashmir, police said Sunday.
In a statement police in the region said five soldiers and a civilian who was related to one of the slain soldiers were killed by Sunday noon.
Police also confirmed three militants have been killed as the operation continues, even though the firing had abated briefly.
“Firing stopped during the night of 11-2-2018 and the area is still under cordon and being sanitized,” the statement added.
The gun-battle started early on Saturday morning at around 5 a.m. local time (2330GMT) when three to four militants, according to the police, stormed into the heavily-fortified Sunjwan army camp in Jammu area of the disputed region.
"The terrorists were wearing combat uniforms carrying AK-56 assault rifles, large amount of ammunition and hand grenades,” the Indian army said in a statement on Saturday night.
The army brought in heavy reinforcements to fight the militants. The government also issued an alert in the entire region.
According to media reports, army chief Bipin Rawat arrived at the Sunjwan camp on Sunday. “He had a meeting with senior commanders who briefed him about the ongoing operation,” the reports said.
The attack on the camp came a day after the valley observed the fifth death anniversary of Afzal Guru, who was hanged by Indian authorities for an alleged attack on the parliament.
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.
The two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- since they were partitioned in 1947, two of which were fought over Kashmir.
Also in Siachen glacier in northern Kashmir, Indian and Pakistani troops have fought intermittently since 1984. A cease-fire came into effect in 2003.
Kashmiri resistance groups in Jammu Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
More than 70,000 people have reportedly been killed in the conflict since 1989. India maintains more than half a million troops in the disputed region.
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