By Patrick Falk, International News Writer
On Sunday September 18, militants assaulted an Indian army base located in the Kashmir Valley region.
The attack killed 17 soldiers, according to the BBC.
The four perpetrators were armed with guns and grenades as they stormed the base in Uri, which is situated close to the border of Pakistan. According to a statement released by army spokesman Colonel SD Goswami, the attackers opened fire on a base near the border, known to officials as the Line of Control, before shifting focus to the headquarters, as reported by Al Jazeera. The incident marks one of the deadliest attacks on a military base in the Kashmir region since 1989.
This attack increased tensions between India and Pakistan, with the Indian Home Affairs Minister Rajnath Singh asserting that Pakistan was acting as a terrorist state, although he refrained from blaming the country for the incident, as reported by CNN. The attack has yet to be claimed by any group or terrorist cell, and the Pakistani government also denies any involvement in the incident.
Nafees Zakaria, a spokesman from the Pakistani foreign ministry, told the BBC that India is reverting to old tactics.
“They immediately put the blame on Pakistan without investigation,” he stated.
Mr. Singh stood by his allegations on Twitter, citing undisclosed evidence that the perpetrators of the attacks were well-trained and equipped with heavy weaponry.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly condemned the attacks, and promised to find those behind the attacks in a series of Twitter posts, according to Al Jazeera.
The incident occurs following a string of violent protests against Indian rule in the region, according to the BBC.
Over 80 people, mostly anti-government protesters, have been killed in the past two months following the death of a popular rebel leader in July, and a strict curfew is in place throughout the region.
Kashmir has been at the center of tensions between the two countries for over 60 years, and has been labelled as the cause of two wars between Pakistan and India, according to the BBC.
Both India and Pakistan claim the entirety of the predominantly Muslim territory, although the region itself has been divided between the two since the late 1940s.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, September 27th print edition.
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