By Zahid Rafiq
Four Indian paramilitary personnel, four policemen and three militants were killed in southern Jammu-Kashmir when a major police base came under attack Saturday, top police official told local media.
The incident took place in Pulwama district, located some 26 kilometers (16 miles) to the south of capital Srinagar, where militants stormed the District Police Lines.
Director General of Police Shesh Paul Vaid said it was a sad day for Indian forces who suffered such heavy causalities.
"However, the boys fought bravely and we are only more determined to wipe out militancy from the entire state," Vaid told news agency PTI.
He said it was a suicide attack and refused to accept blame for any security lapses.
“You cannot prevent [an attack] if somebody is ready to die.”
Earlier, Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Hasan Shah, spokesman of the group, claimed Indian armed forces had suffered “massive damage” while militants present there were giving a tough time to Indian troops, according to news agency CNS.
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.
The two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- since they were partitioned in 1947, two of which were fought over Kashmir.
Kashmiri resistance groups in Jammu-Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
More than 70,000 people have reportedly been killed in the conflict since 1989. India maintains more than half a million troops in the disputed region.