SRINAGAR, India, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- An Indian army officer was injured Sunday battling suspected Pakistani militants during an ongoing operation in Indian-controlled Kashmir.
The Hindustan Times quoted police as saying Lt. Col. K.S. Nath was injured when Indian forces "again had contact with the militants" in a dense forested area in the region's Kupwara district -- where last week Col. Santosh Mahadik, commanding officer of the 41 Rashtriya Rifles, was killed in a militant ambush.
Army spokesman Col. N. N. Joshi told Xinhua news agency Nath was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Indian security forces have made repeated contact with gunmen during a sweep that began Nov. 13 in a wooded area known as Haji Naka. Sources at the time said Pakistani militants may have infiltrated across the border late last month.
Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based terrorist group that was implicated in the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed more than 160 people, claimed responsibility for the death of Mahadik.
Following the 37-year-old colonel's demise, Indian security forces began reinforcing the area and cutting off escape routes.
Since 1989, India has fought groups such as the LeT in Jammu and Kashmir, a region shared in administration with Pakistan.
On Aug. 11, Indian police and military forces said they killed two LeT militants during a firefight in the village of Ratanpora, 16 miles south of Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir state.
India has accused the Pakistani government of supporting the LeT and other groups, but the Islamabad government says such support is only moral and political in nature.
The Times of India reported Sunday the Islamic State, a Sunni terrorist group holding territories in Iraq and Syria, dismissed the LeT as puppets of the Pakistani military -- as well as allies of al-Qaida, an IS rival.