Four Indian soldiers killed in battle with Kashmir militants

India has alleged that those who planned the attacks had links with the Pakistani state - a charge that Pakistan has vigorously denied.

Before Thursday's carnage, the deadliest attack on Indian security forces in Kashmir took place in 2002, when 31 people were killed at an army base in Jammu region, majority relatives of soldiers.

An army major was among the dead, according to the Indian army.

"The encounter is still on", Colonel Rakesh Kalia, a military spokesman in Kashmir, said.

The official said the soldiers fired warning shots and the militants fired back, unleashing the firefight in the district 40 kilometres (25 miles) south of the main city of Srinagar. The exchange occurred late Sunday night after security forces surrounded Pinglena village following a tip-off that militants were hiding in the area.

The officials say Umair had "radicalized and motivated" the Kashmiri school dropout who rammed a vehicle laden with explosives into the convoy on Thursday.

Pakistan's foreign office rejected the unfounded allegations of India in the aftermath of the suicide attack in Kashmir.

"Instead of simply blaming other countries, especially Pakistan and China, shouldn't the Indian government make more self-introspection on its anti-terrorism policy and dwell more on how to better administer (Jammu and) Kashmir?" The two countries have gone through three wars over the region, but the conflict has not been resolved.

With India scheduled to play Pakistan in the ICC World Cup, Shukla opted to play it safe on the chance of the 1983 and 2011 World Cup winners boycotting the contest.

India held a briefing for envoys of 25 countries, including from P5 nations - US, China, Russia, the United Kingdom and France - in New Delhi on Friday to highlight Pakistan's role in using terrorism as an instrument of state policy.

Left with few options, India is, therefore, trying to find some satisfaction by throwing some punches at Pakistan - the customary sandbag it would always turn to for venting rage in such situations.

India announced the withdrawal of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status for Pakistan and called backed its High Commissioner to Islamabad Ajay Basaria on Friday.

As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Calls for a nationwide shutdown met with a mixed response. "Two colleges in Dehradun and one in Moradabad have stated that they will not admit new Kashmiri students", it said. He was later detained by police.

Mobile internet has been shut down across the state to stop "rumours" from spreading.

Rebels have been fighting Indian control in Kashmir since 1989 and the uprising and ensuing crackdown have killed about 70,000 people. Scores of armed groups are now involved. Violence has spiked since 2016 with nearly 600 killed previous year, the highest toll in a decade.

  • Rogelio Becker