(CNN) Seventeen soldiers were killed when militants attacked an army camp in Indian-administered Kashmir early on Sunday morning, the Indian army said in a statement. Four attackers were also killed in the ensuing gunfight, which lasted several hours.
The attack happened in the garrison town of Uri, about 102 kilometers from Srinagar, the capital of Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. The town is near the Line of Control, the de-facto border between India and Pakistan in the disputed region.
A search operation of the camp is currently in progress, the army statement said.
Mourners attend the funeral of an 11-year-old boy who was found dead in Srinagar on Friday
It’s unclear which militant group carried out the attack that came as tensions in Indian-controlled Kashmir at are an all-time high.
Sunday’s attack was one of worst strikes on an army base in Kashmir since militant attacks began in 1989.
India’s Home Affairs Minister Rajnath Singh called an emergency meeting with his senior officials and announced via Twitter that he was postponing visits to Russia and the United States to deal with the situation.
Indian-administered Kashmir has been gripped by unrest for more than two months, with protests that have prompted authorities to issue curfews and lock down large parts of the region.
Demonstrations began in July after the Indian army killed Burhan Wani, the commander of the separatist group Hizbul Mujaheedin. Police described the 21-year-old’s killing as a major success in their campaign against separatist militants, but angry mobs protested against his death and attacked police stations, police posts and government buildings.
At least 85 people have been killed in the past 72 days in clashes between protesters and security forces.
Mourners attend Nasir Shafi’s funeral on Saturday
On Saturday, thousands of people defied a curfew to attend the funeral of Nasir Shafi, an 11-year-old boy found dead on Friday on the outskirts of Srinagar.
Residents told CNN that Shafi’s body was riddled with pellet gun wounds, which Indian police and security forces have been using to disperse protesters. Police said the boy was hit with pellets during clashes between the two groups.
A doctor at Srinagar’s SMHS hospital said 756 people have been hit in the eyes by pellets over the past 72 days.
“Thirty-eight received pellet injuries in both eyes,” Dr. Tariq Qureshi, head of the hospital’s Ophthalmology department said.