Pretoria – The South African government has condemned the deadly attack on an Indian military base near the Line of Control (LoC) dividing Kashmir.
In a statement on Thursday, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) voiced its hope that the perpetrators will be brought to justice.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives and also with the many who were injured, as well as with the government and people of India.
“Those responsible for this attack must be identified and held accountable.”
Eighteen Indian service personnel were reportedly killed and 20 injured in Sunday’s attack, which has been noted as the deadliest recently in the restive region.
In 2014, a similar attack on the military fortification at Mohra village in Uri killed at least eight Indian troopers, including their officer and three policemen. Six attackers responsible for the attack were also killed inside the fortification.
A guerrilla war has been going on between militants and Indian troops stationed in the region since 1989. Gunfight between militants and Indian troopers takes place intermittently in the region. So far, no militant outfit has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The attack comes at a time when Indian-controlled Kashmir is grappling with violent unrest. The region has been witnessing the largest protests in recent years since July 8, following the killing of a militant commander in a gunfight with Indian troops.
Authorities have imposed curfew and restrictions to contain street protests, and the region is observing a complete shutdown.
South Africa condemned the use of violence to achieve political goals and aims, in any form and from whichever quarter.
“South Africa’s foreign policy is guided by the vision to promote international peace and stability and believes that terrorist acts cannot be allowed to subvert the promotion of peace, democracy and stability,” said DIRCO.