At least nine people have been killed, following a 12-hour gun battle between Indian police and gunmen, dressed in military fatigues, near the Indian border with Pakistan.
Indian police overcame a group of gunmen dressed in military fatigues on Monday after a 12-hour battle that ended in a small-town police station near the border with Pakistan, and at least nine people were killed.
Police in the frontier state of Punjab killed three unidentified assailants who had pulled up at the police complex in a stolen car, automatic weapons blazing, at about 5 a.m. (00:30 London time).
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his top ministers have not made detailed statements on the attack, which came weeks after he met Pakistan’s premier Nawaz Sharif in an attempt to revive stalled relations between the nuclear-armed rivals.
Pakistan issued a statement condemning the assault and extending condolences to the government and people of India, pushing back against suggestions by some Indian security sources that the assailants had crossed from Pakistani territory.
In the first such attack in Indian Punjab in more than a decade, the gunmen shot dead a barber and tried to hijack a bus before rushing the police station, witnesses said.
Shoe shop owner Amit Sharma, 43, was woken by the sound of gunfire at dawn.
“I thought someone was setting off firecrackers,” Sharma told Reuters. Instead, he saw three men with assault rifles “spraying bullets everywhere.”
Throughout the day, regular bouts of small arms fire echoed across the town of Dinanagar and the surrounding paddy fields, some 15 km (10 miles) from the international border, Reuters witnesses said.