Indian Troops Kill Pak Soldier

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ISLAMABAD: Indian troops shot dead a Pakistani soldier who had strayed onto their side of the de facto border in the disputed Kashmir region, officials from both countries said Friday.

“We detected some suspicious movement yesterday near the LoC (Line of Control) inside our territory and the challengers from our side fired and in the ensuing firefight he was killed,” Lieutenant Colonel Rajesh Kalia, a spokesman for the Indian army’s northern command, was quoted as saying by AFP.

An AK-47 rifle was found alongside the body of the soldier, the spokesman added.

The soldier had been killed on Thursday night after he “inadvertently crossed the Line of Control in Khoi Ratta sector”, Pakistan government said in a statement released on Friday.

A Pakistani military official initially told reporters in a text message Friday that the soldier was reported killed on Thursday night after he’d accidentally crossed the line of control that separates the Pakistani- and the Indian-held sides of Kashmir, but gave no details. 

In a more strident statement later Friday, the Pakistani military accused the Indian troops of killing the soldier after he identified himself and explained why he was accidentally in their territory.

 “[This] goes against the understanding reached between Pakistan and India on speedy return of inadvertent line crossers and has the potential to further vitiate the atmosphere.”

The government called upon the Indian government to carry out a thorough investigation into the incident and to ensure that such incidents do not recur.

Tensions between India and Pakistan were heightened last month after a series of cross-border exchanges in Kashmir region. Two Pakistani soldiers were killed on January 6, before India said on January 8 that one of its soldiers was beheaded in an alleged attack by Pakistani troops.

Firing and small skirmishes are common along the 740km LoC despite a ceasefire that was agreed in 2003. The Indian army says eight of its soldiers were killed in 2012, in 75 incidents of ceasefire violations.

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