India claims its soldier killed in Kashmir cross border firing
Colonel S. D. Goswami, a spokesman for the Indian army, said Pakistani troops had opened “unprovoked fire” Wednesday evening targeting Indian positions in Poonch sector along the Line of Control (LoC), some 200 kilometres (125 miles) southwest of the main city of Srinagar.
“Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire again during which our soldier was injured who died later,” Goswami told AFP, adding that the Indian side had returned fire.
A border ceasefire agreement signed by the neighbours in 2003 has largely held, but both frequently accuse each other of breaching it.
Pakistani officials blamed Indian forces for killing four civilians on July 15 and 16, one in Kashmir itself and three near the town of Sialkot close to the border.
Earlier in July, India accused Pakistan of killing two border guards and one civilian in Kashmir.
Media reports have also said that the attackers behind an assault on a police station in India’s Punjab province on Monday, which left 10 people dead, may have travelled from Kashmir.
The Himalayan region has been divided between India and Pakistan, but claimed in full by both, since the two countries gained independence from Britain in 1947.
The Muslim-majority territory is a major source of bitterness in their relationship, but Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif spoke for about an hour while visiting the city of Ufa in Russia for a summit on July 10.
Since 1989 several rebel groups have been fighting hundreds of thousands of Indian forces deployed in the region, for independence or a merger of the territory with Pakistan.
The fighting has left tens of thousands, mostly civilians, dead.