A file picture of Indian paramilitary soldiers standing guard on snow covered hilly area after fresh snowfall in Tangmarg-Gulmarg road, some 40 kilometers north of Srinagar, in Indian Kashmir. EFE/EPA/FILE/FAROOQ KHAN

At least 5 soldiers killed in insurgency operation in Indian Kashmir

Srinagar, India, May 5 (EFE).– At least five Indian Army soldiers were killed and another was wounded Friday after suspected insurgents detonated an explosive device during a security forces operation against rebel groups in Indian Kashmir.

The explosion occurred during an Army operation in Rajouri district, when alleged insurgents “activated an explosive device” killing five members of the security forces and injuring another, a police officer told EFE on condition of anonymity.

The army, in a statement, confirmed the killings of its two soldiers and claimed that “a group of terrorists is trapped and likely to be injured.”

The armed rebels, who India says are sponsored by Islamabad, have been fighting for more than three decades demanding total independence for the region or annexation to Pakistan.

The latest incident coincides with the foreign ministers meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) underway in the coastal state of Goa in India.

At the SCO meet, India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, in his inaugural address, lashed out against terrorism, especially cross-border terrorism, in a veiled reference to Pakistan.

Meanwhile, his Pakistani counterpart, Bilawal Bhutto, had responded by urging India not to use terrorism as a weapon to score diplomatic points.

On Apr.21, five other army soldiers were killed when their vehicle was ambushed in Indian Kashmir.

Data from several human rights organizations suggest that more than 75,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed since 1989 in connection with the conflict in Kashmir. EFE