Suspected rebels kill 5 Indian soldiers in ambush in Kashmir

SRINAGAR: Suspected rebels killed five Indian paramilitary soldiers and wounded another 20 in an ambush of their convoy Saturday on a highway in the Indian portion of Kashmir, authorities said.

Two of the attackers were killed by soldiers who returned fire, said Rajesh Yadav, a paramilitary force officer. The ambush occurred on the outskirts of Srinagar, the main city in Indian Kashmir.

At least 20 soldiers were wounded as one bus in the six-vehicle convoy came under attack by suspected rebels, said Nalin Prabhat, a senior officer of the Central Reserve Police Force. They have been shifted to a hospital in Srinagar.

Police said two suspected rebels were believed to have fled the spot after spraying bullets on the Indian soldiers in the bus.

Rebel groups fighting for Kashmir's independence from India or its merger with neighboring Pakistan since 1989 often attack Indian government forces and other targets. More than 68,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the subsequent Indian military crackdown.

India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the rebels, a charge Islamabad denies.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars, two over control of Kashmir, since they won independence from British colonialists in 1947.