Members of a militant Islamist group attacked an army base in northern India early this morning, killing at least seven personnel and taking hostages, the authorities said.
The raid, which occurred along the disputed Pakistani border near the city of Jammu in the early hours of Nov. 29, is the biggest assault in recent months. Shortly before daybreak, gunmen broke into the base and entered the officers’ mess, where they took hostages including security personnel, women, and children.
Indian soldiers at the base offered battle and repelled the militants, releasing the hostages. At least three gunmen were killed, at the cost of two Indian officers and five soldiers.
An Indian Army spokesman said security at the base was tightened after the attack and that the troops will conduct a mop-up operation.
The Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, located in the Himalaya mountain range, is home to a Muslim majority, though most of the population in Jammu are Hindu.
The region is divided between India and Pakistan, which have fought multiple wars because of border disputes existing since the nations gained independence from the British empire in 1947. Both possess large arsenals of nuclear weapons.
In July, Indian troops killed an influential separatist leader, sparking some of the worst violence in over a decade. In September, an Islamist attack in Jammu killed 19 Indian soldiers.
Featured image: Indian paramilitary troops stand near the scene of a gunfight between the army and suspected militants in Pampore, south of Srinagar, on October 10, 2016. Credit: Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images