SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Gunmen disguised as Indian soldiers hijacked a car Friday in Indian-controlled Kashmir, killing the driver and a passenger, and used it to try to storm an Indian army artillery unit, triggering a firefight that left four more people dead, authorities said.
At least three gunmen fired on the vehicle in the Dayalchak area, about 340 kilometers (210 miles) south of Srinagar, wounding three of the passengers, a police officer said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
An Indian army spokesman, Lt. Col. Rajesh Kalia, said after hijacking the car, the gunmen tried to storm an Indian artillery unit about 30 kilometers (20 miles) away, but an "alert sentry foiled their attempt."
Army troops intercepted them and the three gunmen and a soldier were killed in the ensuing daylong gunbattle, the police officer said.
Both the police officer and army spokesman blamed anti-India rebels for the attack.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility from any rebel group fighting against Indian rule.
Last year, suspected rebels wearing Indian army uniforms stormed a police station and an army camp in the same region. Eight government troops, three attackers and two civilians were killed.
The divided Kashmir region, claimed by both India and Pakistan, sees flares of violence as anti-India rebels step up demands for independence or incorporation into Pakistan.
About 68,000 people have been killed since 1989 in an armed uprising and subsequent crackdown by Indian forces. While the rebellion has largely been suppressed, anti-India resentment still runs deep.