India, Pakistan troops engage in skirmish in Kashmir, soldier killed
AFPISLAMABAD, Pakistan--Pakistani and Indian troops exchanged fire Sunday along their disputed border in divided Kashmir, with each side blaming the other for the flare-up and Pakistan saying one of its soldiers was killed.
January 7, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
Pakistan said Indian troops crossed the de facto border known as the Line of Control and stormed a military post, an accusation denied by the other side.
A Pakistani military statement said the Indian troops came across the frontier in the Haji Pir sector, 80 kilometers (49 miles) north of Islamabad, and “physically raided” a checkpost named Sawan Patra.
“Pakistan Army troops effectively responded to the attack successfully. One Pakistani soldier embraced martyrdom while another was critically injured,” it said in a statement.
The Indian troops retreated, leaving behind a gun and a dagger, it said.
An Indian army spokesman in Srinagar, the summer capital of the Indian-administered part of Kashmir, denied its troops crossed the border.
Colonel Brijesh Pandey accused the Pakistani military of firing mortar bombs into a village in the Uri district in Indian Kashmir, which faces Haji Pir in the Pakistani sector of the territory.
“At 3:15 a.m. today (2145 GMT Saturday) Pakistani troops resorted to heavy mortar firing, targeting a village in Uri sector,” Pandey told AFP, adding that the homes of some villagers were damaged.
“We retaliated with small arms and the exchange continued for over an hour,” the spokesman said.
He said no Indian troops were hurt but had no information about any Pakistani casualties.
Muslim-majority Kashmir is a Himalayan region which India and Pakistan both claim in full but rule in part. It was the cause of two of their three wars since independence from Britain in 1947.