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Three soldiers killed in exchange of fire

Cabinet meeting condemns unprovoked firing

Image Credit: AFP
Pakistani Kashmiris shift an injured victim from the passenger bus hit in cross-border shelling, at a military hospital in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir on Wednesday.
Gulf News

Islamabad: Three Pakistani soldiers were killed in an exchange of fire on the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir on Wednesday, state television reported, quoting the military’s public relations wing.

The report identified the deceased Pakistani army personnel as Captain Taimur Ali, Havaldar Mushtaq Hussain and L-Naek Ghulam Hussain.

It quoted the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) as saying that seven Indian soldiers were killed in retaliatory action by Pakistani troops after “unprovoked shelling” by Indian troops.

According to the state television the ISPR also said Indian forces hit a bus in Pakistan-administered Kashmir in the Neelum valley in shelling across the LoC, killing 10 passengers and injuring several.

The bus was on its way to Muzaffarabad, capital city in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Speaker of Legislative Assembly in Kashmir, Shah Ghulam Qadir told reporters in Muzaffarabad on return from a visit to m Neelum valley that the situation along the LoC was critical.

A cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad strongly condemned “unprovoked Indian firing” on the bus and condoled with the families of the victims. The National Assembly also denounced the Indian “provocative” actions.

Tensions erupted on the LoC around the middle of September and since then exchanges of fire have taken place regularly between the rival troops. Earlier this month seven Pakistani troops were killed in Indian firing across the LoC in the Bhimber sector, according to the military.

In New Delhi, an ailing External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply that Pakistan had made a “crude attempt” to tarnish India’s image by levelling spying allegations against Indian High Commission officials in Islamabad.

Pakistan earlier in November named eight officials of the mission and alleged they were working for the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) or the Intelligence Bureau of India.

“The manner in which their names and photographs were prominently published in Pakistani media along with baseless allegation … is against the Vienna Convention and also violates the norms of established diplomatic practice,” Sushma Swaraj said.

— with inputs from IANS