Militants Kill 4 Soldiers in Indian Kashmir Ahead of Singh Visit

Militants fired at an army convoy in India-controlled Kashmir on the eve of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to the region, killing four soldiers and injuring six others.

Guerrillas attacked the vehicles on the outskirts of Srinagar, the summer capital of India’s northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, said Naresh Vij, a spokesman for the army.

Singh is scheduled to visit the Kashmir valley tomorrow to inaugurate a rail link connecting it with Jammu. Today’s strike is the second in three days after militants gunned down two policemen in Srinagar at the weekend. Ruling Congress party President Sonia Gandhi will accompany Singh.

The militant group Hizbul Mujahideen claimed responsibility for today’s attack, the Press Trust of India reported.

Kashmir, divided between India and Pakistan since 1947 and claimed in full by both, has been the cause of two wars between the nuclear-armed neighbors. Tourists returned to Kashmir in record numbers over the last year as violence linked to a separatist insurgency that erupted in 1989 continued to ebb.

The two nations have repaired economic and sporting ties since resuming peace talks snapped by the 2008 raid on Mumbai by Pakistani guerrillas.

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