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India Accuses Pakistan of Killing Soldiers Along LOC (Ceasefire Violations)

Posted by on Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 11:36
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Amidst a high frequency of clashes across the heavily militarised de facto border in recent days, India on Tuesday accused Pakistan of sending troops across the Line of Control (LoC), and said two of its soldiers were killed and one was wounded in a half-hour gunfight.

Pakistan Army

Pakistan Army

However, a Pakistan Army spokesman denied what it said were Indian allegations of “unprovoked firing” across the LoC. He branded Indian charges “propaganda” to divert attention away from a clash along the LoC two days earlier in which one Pakistani soldier was killed after an Indian incursion.

Meanwhile, India’s defence ministry condemned the “provocative action”.

“The government of India considers the incident as a provocative action and we condemn it,” the ministry said in a statement. “The government will take up the incident with the Pakistan government.”

Rajesh K Kalia, spokesman for Indian Army’s Northern Command, said Tuesday’s “intrusion” was “a significant escalation … of ceasefire violations and infiltration attempts supported by Pakistan Army”.

“Pakistan Army troops, having taken advantage of thick fog and mist in the forested area, were moving towards (their) own posts when an alert area domination patrol spotted and engaged the intruders,” he said.

“The firefight between Pakistan and own troops continued for approximately half an hour, after which the intruders retreated back towards their side of LoC.”

One senior military official told India’s Times Now news channel that the body of one of the slain soldiers was later found mutilated in a forested area of the region. “What we have come to know is one body has been mutilated. That is what we are aware of,” Gen SL Narasimhan said.

Indian military officials said the frequency of cross-border clashes has increased in recent weeks, with at least half a dozen ceasefire violations over the past week alone.

Firing and small skirmishes between the two countries are common along the LoC despite slowly improving ties in recent years. The Indian Army says eight of its soldiers were killed in 2012, in 75 incidents.

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