KASHMIR, CITRAINDONESIA.COM- The deadliest militant attack on Indian security forces in disputed Kashmir for years has raised new tensions between India and Pakistan.Â The countries have been locked in a dispute over the Himalayan region since gaining independence from Britain in 1947.
What just happened?
“On Sunday, heavily-armed militants stormed an army base in Indian-administered Kashmir near the Line of Control (LoC) with territory administered by Pakistan, killing 17 soldiers. The four gunmen were killed after a gunfight,” the Indian army said.
Indian army officials told reporters the attack at the brigade headquarters in Uri looks to have been the work of Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office denied the claim, saying India often blames Pakistan-based groups without providing evidence. No group has said it carried out the deadly raid.
The Line of Control, a de-facto border between the two countries separating Kashmir, is one of the most heavily militarised frontiers in the world and the incident has sparked fears of a military escalation.
So why now?
The incident has come at a time when Indian-administered, Muslim-majority Kashmir is already in the midst of some of the worst unrest seen in years.
In July, the killing of a 22-year-old militant, Burhan Wani, by government forces sparked mass protests and days of deadly violence.
The young militant built up a huge social media following made up of what many analysts have identified as a new a generation of disaffected young Kashmiris.
His strident calls for Kashmir to decide its own fate also resonated with a substantial part of the population that would like to see independence for the territory.
After his death young people demonstrated on the streets, hurling stones at security forces – and police, in some cases, retaliated with pellet guns and rifles. More than 70 people have been killed – mostly civilians. (bbc)