| SRINAGAR, India
SRINAGAR, India Oct 6 Indian soldiers shot dead
three suspected militants who tried to raid an army base in
northern Kashmir on Thursday, police said, the latest in a wave
of attacks that has raised tensions with neighbouring Pakistan.
The three men were found in an orchard near the army base in
Kupwara district near the Line of Control, the de facto border
that divides the Himalayan region between India and Pakistan.
Police superintendent Ghulam Jeelani said the attackers
engaged in heavy firing with soldiers before they retreated from
the base, the second to be attacked in days in northern Kashmir.
The attack came as India and Pakistan exchanged more gunfire
across the de facto border in Kashmir, despite a 2003 ceasefire,
setting off panic among residents in border areas.
Tensions have escalated sharply since last week, when India
announced its special forces had carried out a strike against
militants camped on the Pakistan side of Kashmir and inflicted
Pakistan denied such a strike had taken place but vowed to
retaliate against any Indian aggression.
The latest round of tensions between the nuclear-armed
neighbours over Kashmir began after militants killed 19 soldiers
in an army camp, the deadliest toll in nearly two decades.
India said the attackers had come from Pakistan but
Islamabad demanded credible proof.
On Wednesday night, militants from Pakistan unsuccessfully
tried to breach the Line of Control at two points in the Nowgam
sector and one at Rampur, an Indian army spokesman said.
Another army officer said: "Troops were on alert and fired
at the infiltrators, they fled back to Pakistan. A search has
Pakistan denies sending fighters to Kashmir but says it
gives moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people in
their 27-year struggle for self-determination.
The two sides traded artillery fire across the Line of
Control in Nowshera, Pallanwala and Mendhar sections overnight,
the Indian army said.
Twenty shops were gutted in Sabjiyan sector when a shell
landed, Poonch deputy commissioner Mohammad Haroon Malik said.
"People are terrified. They are demanding underground
community shelters to protect themselves from firing," he said.
(Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Paul Tait)