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Officer killed in attack on Kashmir hospital, militant escapes

A high-profile imprisoned Pakistani militant escapes and a policeman is killed after two gunmen conduct a raid on a hospital where he was brought for treatment in the Indian-administered part of Kashmir.

An Indian official said that the assailants opened fire in the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital in Srinagar on Tuesday to free Naveed Jutt, a Pakistani militant imprisoned in the restive region since 2014.

“The militants attacked the policemen inside the hospital, killed one accompanying the Pakistani prisoner, and fled on a motorcycle,” deputy inspector general of police Ghulam Hassan Bhat said.

Another police officer was critically injured in the assault.

A manhunt was underway to arrest Jutt and the two attackers. Jutt was deemed the second in command of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group at the time of his arrest.

Unrest has gripped Kashmir for years. People have been demanding that the largely-Muslim region be given independence or be merged with Pakistan.

New Delhi accuses Pakistan of dispatching militants into Kashmir to wage attacks on its forces. Islamabad denies that allegation.

The clashes over the years have killed tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians.

The disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947; but both countries claim it in its entirety. The two nuclear rivals have fought three wars over the control of the territory since their partition.

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