Indian forces kill Pakistani soldier in disputed region of Kashmir

Indian army says its troops ‘befittingly’ responded to Pakistani firing

Indian security personnel patrolling during an operation in a village in the north of Kashmir in July 2019. Photograph: Getty Images

Indian security personnel patrolling during an operation in a village in the north of Kashmir in July 2019. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Pakistan’s military has said that Indian forces opened fire across the border in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, killing one soldier.

In a statement, it said Pakistani troops responded by targeting the Indian posts where the fire originated, causing “substantial damage” on the Indian side but gave no further details.

The Indian army said its troops “befittingly” responded to Pakistani firing and shelling along the Line of Control on Saturday in the southern Rajouri district. It reported no damage or casualties.

India and Pakistan routinely accuse each other of unprovoked attacks along the tense Kashmir frontier in violation of a 2003 ceasefire agreement. Pakistan says India has violated the truce more than 2,000 times this year alone.

Kashmir is split between the nuclear-armed rivals and both claim it in its entirety. They have fought two wars over Kashmir since their independence from British colonial rule in 1947.

Tensions soared in February 2019, when a suicide bombing killed 40 Indian soldiers in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir, and India retaliated with air strikes inside Pakistani territory.

Pakistan shot down one of the warplanes in Kashmir and captured a pilot who was quickly released. India said the strikes targeted Pakistan-based militants responsible for the suicide bombing.

Relations have been further strained since August last year, when India revoked the Muslim-majority region’s decades-old semi-autonomous status, prompting anger on both sides of the frontier. Since then, troops have frequently traded fire, leaving dozens of civilians and soldiers dead on both sides. – PA