Three soldiers including an army captain were killed on Thursday when a group of militants stormed a garrison in south Kashmir’s Kupwara, a defence official said.
Two militants were also killed in the attack at the Panzgam area of Chowkibal, the army spokesperson said, adding, “Search ops (operations are) in progress.”
Sources said five injured soldiers have been shifted to a hospital in Srinagar.
PTI quoted official sources to identity the slain army officer as Captain Ayush.
The attackers, suspected to be fidayeen militants, sneaked into the camp before sunrise at around 4. Sources said the group of four militants are believed to have had crossed over from Pakistan.
The the Associated Press quoted army spokesperson colonel Rajesh Kalia as saying that the militants used guns and grenades to target soldiers northwest of Srinagar.
The army cordoned off the entire area including a nearby forest area as bodies of only two militants have been retrieved so far.
The attack is suspected to have been carried out by the Pakistan-based outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad. However, there was no independent confirmation of the incident and no rebel group has issued any statement so far.
The attack came amid heightened tension across the valley since April 9, when eight people including seven students were killed by police and paramilitary forces during by-polls to the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency.
The incident will also likely to further strain the already frayed India’s relations with Pakistan, whom New Delhi accuses of sheltering and supporting militant outfits targeting security personnel in Kashmir.
Last year, India carried out surgical strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and took out several militant launch pads. Pakistan, however, denies any Indian strike on its territiory.
The strikes followed a string of attacks on defence installions and army camps including one at Uri which had left 19 Indian soldiers dead in September last year.
Weeks later, seven soldiers, including two majors, were killed when militants dressed as policemen stormed another military camp in Jammu and Kashmir’s Nagrota.
On Wednesday, the Jammu and Kashmir government ordered internet service providers to block Facebook, Twitter and 20 other social media sites and online applications for one month “in the interest of maintenance of public order”.
The move came after after several videos and photos depicting alleged abuses of Kashmiris by Indian security forces sparked outrage and fueled protests.
Students across Kashmir have been rallying this month at anti-India demonstrations, facing off against heavily armed riot police and paramilitary soldiers.
(With agency inputs)