From Mukhtar Ahmad, CNN
SRINAGAR, India (CNN) — Eight Indian army soldiers were killed Friday in a gunfight with militants in Indian-controlled Kashmir ahead of a visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In a predawn attack, heavily armed militants stormed an Indian army camp 85 kilometers (about 52 miles) from Srinagar in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The militants opened fire at the camp near the Line of Control, the defacto border between India and Pakistan in Kashmir.
“Eight army troopers including an officer and three cops were killed in the gunfight, which has now ended,” an Indian defense spokesman said in a statement.
“In the ensuing firefight, all the six foreign terrorists were eliminated.”
The gunfight came two days ahead of Modi’s visit to Indian Kashmir to campaign for the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, which is making its presence felt in the Muslim-majority Kashmir for the first time. Modi’s BJP has fielded candidates for the ongoing state assembly polls.
Attacks on the army camps by militants have been occurring in Indian-administered Kashmir, which has been in the throes of separatist violence since 1989.
Last week, militants attacked another army camp in the Arnia sector of the border near the main city of Jammu. The nearly 24-hour-long gunfight claimed 12 lives.
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