Insurgents kill 5 Indian soldiers in Kashmir

New Delhi, Mar 13 (EFE).- Five members of the Indian security forces were killed and 10 people were wounded in an attack by insurgents dressed as cricket players at a barracks in Srinagar, in Indian Kashmir, officials said.

Two of the insurgents also died in the attack, which lasted about 30 minutes, according to a police source consulted by Efe.

The insurgents used grenades to try and penetrate into the interior of the barracks, located very close to a school that remained closed on Wednesday, according to local media.

Responsibility for the attack was claimed by Kashmiri separatist group Hizbul Mujahideen in a telephone call to the Kashmir News Service, the head of the Srinagar-based agency, Mohamad Aslam, told Efe.

Hizbul Mujahideen is one of a dozen or so armed separatist and pro-Pakistani groups operating in the portion of Kashmir that is under Indian control.

Kashmir is a Muslim-majority region whose then-ruler declined to join Pakistan, founded as a state for Muslims, when the subcontinent was partitioned in 1947.

Great tension has prevailed in the area since the hanging in February in New Delhi of Kashmiri militant Mohamed Afzal Guru for participating in a terrorist attack against the Indian Parliament in 2001 in which nine people died.

Before Hizbul Mujahideen claimed responsibility for Wednesday's attack, Indian Interior Secretary R.K. Singh had confirmed to reporters that "at first glance, the terrorists seem to have crossed the border and are citizens of Pakistan."

The two nuclear-armed neighbors have waged three wars over Kashmir and seemed to be on the verge of a fourth in 1999 after a sustained Pakistani incursion into Indian territory.