Gurdaspur, Indian Punjab: India blamed Pakistan for an attack on Monday that killed five people and threatens to disrupt planned talks between the nuclear-armed neighbors.
As many as four gunmen dressed in army uniforms attacked a bus station, a health center and a police complex in India’s northern Punjab state bordering Pakistan. Security forces have surrounded the militants, who are holed up in a police complex in the town of Dinanagar, Abhinav Trikha, a deputy commissioner in Punjab, said by phone.
India’s Home Ministry suspects that Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba is behind the attacks, a government official told reporters in New Delhi. He asked not to be identified, citing ministry rules.
The incident is the most serious since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power last year. While border incidents are common in Jammu and Kashmir state further to the north, Punjab has been relatively peaceful over the past decade.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Twitter that security forces have been rushed to the spot. He said he was “confident that the situation will soon be brought under control.”
Modi had met Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif earlier this month for the first time in more than a year, sparking hopes of a detente between the long-time foes. Relations soured last year after border fighting in Jammu and Kashmir.