In what is tagged as one of the deadliest attacks in the disputed region of Kashmir, heavily armed militants, on Sunday morning, stormed an Indian Army base near the border with Pakistan, killing at least 17 soldiers.
Four militants were killed in the ensuing fighting, said S. D. Goswami, a spokesman for the army’s Northern Command, which oversees Kashmir.
“Four terrorists killed in counterterrorist operation at Uri. 17 soldiers make the supreme sacrifice,” the command said on Twitter on Sunday, referring to the Uri area, about 100km west of the troubled northern region’s main city of Srinagar.
Goswami disclosed that the fighters first attacked a frontline base close to the border known as the Line of Control before moving on to the headquarters.
Most of the fatalities happened in a tent that caught fire, Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh, the Indian army’s director general of military operations, told the briefing in New Delhi.
India has accused Pakistan of being behind the attack.
India’s home minister, Rajnath Singh, in a series of pointed comments on Twitter: “I am deeply disappointed with Pakistan’s continued and direct support to terrorism and terrorist groups,” he said.
Also speaking, India’s director general of military operations, Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh, said in a televised statement that the militants were “foreign terrorists” carrying items with “Pakistani markings.”
He said he had contacted his counterpart in the Pakistani Army to express “our serious concerns.”