Security forces Tuesday gunned down three suspected suicide bombers with a Pakistan-based terror outfit who allegedly attacked the Border Security Force (BSF) headquarters near Indian Kashmir’s heavily militarized Srinagar airport, police said.
A BSF official was killed and four soldiers were wounded in the attack in the insurgency-torn Himalayan region that was blamed on Pakistan-based organization Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM).
Police said the attackers lobbed grenades and started shooting after breaching the BSF camp.
Investigators have identified a JeM member who drove the attackers to the camp, a police official said without divulging the suspect’s identity.
“Pakistan-backed JeM group is behind the attack. We know a member of the group drove the attackers to the BSF headquarters,” Munir Khan, Indian Kashmir’s inspector general of police, told BenarNews, adding that the police had launched a manhunt.
“The three militants, who entered the BSF headquarters after cutting through the compound’s fence and opened fire, were killed in retaliatory action,” Khan said.
The BSF’s 182 Battalion that came under attack manages the security at the Srinagar International Airport. However, Khan said the airport was not the target.
JeM claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the Press Trust of India.
An unidentified caller who identified himself as a JeM spokesman said that its operatives carried out the attack, the news agency reported.
The assault came a day after the Indian Army claimed to have killed five unidentified Pakistani militants when it foiled two attempts to infiltrate the Line of Control – the de-facto border dividing Kashmir between India and Pakistan. Both sides lay claim to the territory in its entirety.
India blames JeM for attacks on the country’s security forces, including the 2016 assault on an airbase in Punjab that killed seven Indian soldiers.