At least seven members from the Indian army and three police officers were killed in several attacks by militants in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday, according to local reports. Seven militants have also so far been killed while seven others have been injured, reports said.
The Soura area on the outskirts of the state’s capital of Srinagar was attacked by gunmen who opened fire, according to Zee News, a local news network. Army officials killed one of the gunmen and are currently searching for others, two of whom are believed to be hiding inside a house. Militants also threw a grenade at a police station in the town of Shopian in the state's south while another grenade was launched near a bus stand in Tral, injuring seven. The restive region, part of which is administered by Pakistan, has seen a wave of attacks in recent days aimed at disrupting local elections.
The first attack on Friday happened at 3:10 a.m. local time (4:10 p.m. Thursday EST) on a military camp in Uri, where Indian troops reportedly killed all six gunmen. All attack sites have been sealed off by Indian forces, according to reports.
"The exact number of terrorists involved in the attack is not known. But the way these terrorists, believed to be from Pakistan, killed three policemen on the road outside our Army camp makes us believe that they entered the camp from the gate through the road which is not made of concrete boundary," a senior army official told Times of India.
An army official at one of the sites said, according to Hindustan Times: "Terrorists opened small arms fire and grenades fire on army camp at Mohura at 3 am. Army response teams immediately mobilized and surrounded the area. Firefight continued till 9.30 in the morning and all terrorists neutralized. Casualties sustained by security forces during the operation are being ascertained."
The attacks come as the state prepares for the third round of local elections on Tuesday, which separatists have sought to disrupt. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is due to campaign for his Bharatiya Janata Party in Srinagar on Monday for the elections, IBN, a local news network, reported.
While state officials continued to search for other militants in the region, the state’s Chief Minister Omar Abdullah condemned the attack in a tweet.
JK Police & army are responding to the attack in Uri. Once again shows the desperate levels militants will go to to disrupt peace & normalcy
— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) December 5, 2014