Gunmen siege in Kashmir enters third day

  • 22/02/2016

Indian security forces have battled for a third day amid heavy gunfire to clear militants who stormed a government building in the disputed Kashmir region and killed six people.

After a lull in fighting overnight, army commandos and police launched a fresh offensive to clear the five-storey training institute captured by the militants.

Gunfire and explosions could be heard at the building complex near Srinagar, Kashmir's summer capital.

Indian army and police officials at the scene said three or four militants armed with grenades and machine guns may be inside. The police said one militant was killed on Sunday (local time).

"This is one of the longest encounters in Kashmir in recent memory," said an army officer, who asked not to be named.

"This is because the building is very big and we have suffered casualties. So we are being cautious."

Muslim separatists have been fighting Indian forces in the Indian portion of Kashmir since 1989.

India accuses Pakistan of training and arming the rebels in the portion it controls and sending them to the Indian side, a claim its neighbour denies.

The attack began on Saturday when militants shot at a bus carrying police before breaking into the training institute.

More than 100 people were inside at the time.

Three Indian army commandos, two policemen and a civilian have been killed in the fighting.