Gunmen kill five Indian soldiers

New Delhi (Reuters) – Unidentified gunmen on Thursday opened fire at an Indian army vehicle in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, killing at least five soldiers, the army said.

Grenades were also likely thrown at the vehicle in the Rajouri sector of the region, causing it to catch fire, the army said. One soldier was severely wounded.

“Operations are in progress to locate the perpetrators,” the army said in a statement.

A defence ministry source said Army Chief General Manoj Pande has briefed Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on the attack.

Kashmir is claimed in full but ruled in part by nuclear-armed neighbours India and Pakistan. Militants in the region under India’s control have for decades fought security forces.

In August last year, militants attacked an Indian army post in Rajouri, killing three soldiers, while two attackers died in the shootout.

New Delhi has long accused Pakistan of stoking a decades-long insurgency in Kashmir. Islamabad denies that accusation, saying it only provides diplomatic and moral support for Kashmiris seeking self-determination.