By Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, India (Reuters) - Militants attacked an Indian army convoy in Kashmir on Saturday, killing three soldiers, a defense spokesman said, in the latest in an uptick of violence in the disputed region at the heart of tensions with rival Pakistan.
The men were ambushed on the outskirts of Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir state where Indian forces have been battling an armed revolt since 1989.
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This year, after years of decline, militant violence has increased in Kashmir, deepening a chill in ties with Pakistan whom India blames for stoking and keeping the revolt alive by sending fighters and materiel across the de factor border.
Pakistan denies the allegation and says New Delhi must agree to talks to resolve the future of Kashmir.
Soldiers have launched a search operation to hunt the militants behind Saturday's attack, the defense spokesman said. Last month, militants stormed an army base near Jammu, killing seven soldiers.
"A bad year in terms of security force casualties just got worse," Omar Abdullah, the leader of the main opposition group in Jammu and Kashmir, said in a Twitter post following the latest attack.
(Writing by Sanjeev Miglani; editing by Jason Neely)