Attack in India's Punjab ends with 10 deaths

2015-07-28 10:01
Indian police stand guard during an operation against militants who attacked a police station in Dinanagar. (Narinder Nanu, AFP)

Indian police stand guard during an operation against militants who attacked a police station in Dinanagar. (Narinder Nanu, AFP)

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Dinanagar - Indian security forces have overcome an assault on a bus and a police station in Punjab, ending a 12-hour gun battle that left at least 10 people dead, including the attackers.

The Indian home ministry said on Monday police killed three unidentified attackers who had pulled up at the police complex in Dinanagar, in Gurdaspur district, and opened fire with automatic weapons.

Three policemen and three civilians were among the dead.

Narendra Modi, Indian prime minister, and his senior ministers have not made detailed statements on the attack.

Report: Attack puts India-Pakistan cricket series in jeopardy

Meanwhile, the Pakistani government has condemned the incident, amid accusations by Indian officials that the attackers crossed the border from Pakistan.

"Pakistan reiterates its condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations," the statement said.

"We extend heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the government and people of India."

The incident comes just weeks after Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif spoke for about an hour during a summit in Russia, raising hopes of an improvement in diplomatic relations.

Any proof of links between Pakistan and the attackers would be sure to increase tensions between the neighbours.

Al Jazeera's Nidhi Dutt, reporting from New Delhi, said the attackers were wearing Indian army uniforms.

"The gunmen crossed over from a border region between India and Pakistan in the Jammu region," she said.

It remained unclear who was behind the assault.

Increased security

Rajnath Singh, India's home minister, said he had ordered increased security on the border with Pakistan after the incident.

"This militancy is a national problem, not a state problem, so it needs to be tackled with a national policy," Singh said.

"If prior intelligence input had been given, they should have properly sealed the borders."

The attack is one of the worst in Punjab since the 1990s when the state was reeling under a Sikh insurgency over the demand for an independent Khalistan that peaked after the assassination of Indira Gandhi, the Indian prime minister, at the hands of her Sikh bodyguards in 1984.

Attacks on security installations by fighters dressed as soldiers or police are common in the northern Jammu region, but Monday’s was the first such assault in Punjab in 13 years, according to data from the South Asia Terrorism Portal.

Read more on:    india  |  security
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