Trouble at the line: Another soldier killed in India-Pakistan sparring
A Pakistani soldier was shot dead yesterday along the disputed Line of Control in Kashmir, making the past 10 days the deadliest period of cross border fighting in nearly a decade.
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A Pakistani soldier was shot dead along the disputed Kashmir border with India late Tuesday night, further raising tensions between the two nuclear-armed countries that already had each seen two soldiers killed there over the past 10 days.
In the latest incident Pakistan accused India of killing the soldier, saying the shooting – which took place along the so-called Line of Control (LoC) dividing the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir – was unprovoked.
Over the past 10 days the two governments have traded accusations including beheading, warmongering, and raids along the LoC, reports Bloomberg News. But two Indian and two Pakistani soldiers were killed along the internationally recognized dividing line – last night’s death constitutes the fifth casualty – in a little more than a week. The Associated Press referred to this period as the “worst bout of fighting in the region in nearly 10 years.”
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Today, an Indian Army spokesman said that “Our troops didn’t fire at all.”
Indian Army Gen. Bikram Singh commented, "If any Pakistani soldier has been killed, it may have been in retaliatory firing. Our soldiers do not cross the LoC," reports Reuters. Earlier in the week Singh said “I expect all my commanders at the Line of Control to be both aggressive and offensive in the face of provocation and fire," according to a separate Reuters report.
Pakistan's Army director of military operations reportedly called his counterpart in India today to complain, reports the Pakistani newspaper Dawn. Pakistan is dealing with heightened internal challenges after corruption charges were lodged against its prime minister yesterday.
A cease-fire has been in effect along the 460-mile border since 2003. Kashmir was divided between the two nations after British rule ended in the late 1940s, however, both claim the region in its entirety. Two out of three wars fought between India and Pakistan have been over Kashmir, reports Bloomberg.