“I was inside the dhaba (a roadside eatery) when I saw three men entering the camp firing a barrage of bullets. They opened the gates and entered,” a man told television reporters in Samba.
Local English language newspaper The Kashmir Monitor said it had received a call by satellite phone from a previously unknown group called Shouhda Brigade (“Martyrs Brigade”) which claimed responsibility.
The group said three Kashmiri militants were involved and they had killed 15 people. None of these claims could be independently verified by AFP.
The leaders of several Pakistan-based groups warned last month of an “unprecedented” surge in activity in India as battle hardened fighters transfer their attention from Afghanistan to the Himalayan region.
Indian premier Singh confirmed on Wednesday that he would meet his Pakistani counterpart despite calls from the opposition to take a hard line with Islamabad.
Formal peace talks known as the Composite Dialogue are currently off and India has played down any expectations they might restart as a result of Sunday’s talks.
Kashmir, a picturesque Himalayan territory, is divided between India and Pakistan by a de facto border known as the Line of Control but it is claimed in full by both countries.
More than a dozen armed rebel groups have been fighting Indian forces since 1989 for the region’s independence or its merger with Pakistan.
Attacks in Indian Kashmir are at their lowest in 20 years, but the region remains tense with many Kashmiris chafing under tight security.
Tens of thousands of people have died in the fighting by official count while local rights groups estimate up to 70,000 have lost their lives.
Thursday’s attack comes after heavily armed militants killed eight soldiers and two policemen in the region in June, in the deadliest such incident in five years.