India says three soldiers killed by Pakistani fire in Kashmir

FILE PHOTO: Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers patrol next to a stream near the Line of Control (LoC), a ceasefire line dividing Kashmir between India and Pakistan, at Sabjiyan sector of Poonch district, August 8, 2013. REUTERS/Mukesh Gupta/File Photo

SRINAGAR, India (Reuters) – Three Indian soldiers were killed on Thursday, the Indian army said, in what a spokesman described as unprovoked firing by Pakistani forces at the border in the disputed region of Kashmir.

Pakistan for its part accused Indian forces of violating a ceasefire in the region and injuring one civilian.

Firing frequently erupts along the Line of Control (LoC), the ceasefire line in Kashmir, which both the nuclear-armed countries claim in full.

Indian army spokesman Rajesh Kalia said Pakistan had opened fire without provocation in the Nowgam sector early on Thursday, killing two Indian soldiers and wounding four.

Another Indian soldier was killed in overnight firing by Pakistani troops in the Poonch sector, he said, adding: “Our troops responded strongly to the enemy fire.”

Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in a statement that it had summoned a senior Indian diplomat in Islamabad on Thursday to protest against ceasefire violations by Indian forces along the LoC a day earlier, in which a 65-year-old civilian in the Jandrot sector had been wounded.

The statement said India had committed 2,404 ceasefire violations this year, resulting in 19 deaths and injuries to 192 civilians.

India says Pakistani troops often open fire to help militants sneak into India‘s side of Kashmir to join a decades-long armed revolt there. Pakistan says it gives only moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people fighting for self-determination.

India is separately locked in a serious military face-off with China along the border that those two countries dispute.

(Reporting by Fayaz Bukhari in Srinagar and Gibran Peshimam in Islamabad; Editing by Kevin Liffey)



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