Srinagar: Pakistani soldiers crossed the ceasefire line in Kashmir on Tuesday and attacked an army patrol, killing two Indian soldiers before retreating back into Pakistani-controlled territory, an Indian army official said, while Pakistan was quick to deny the charges, reported AP.
The outbreak of violence was the second in three days in Kashmir, where a ceasefire between the two nuclear-armed rivals has largely held for a decade.
Brigadier S. Chawla, an Indian army spokesman, said the Pakistani soldiers crossed into Indian-controlled Kashmir near the town of Mendhar, about 175 km from Srinagar, taking advantage of thick fog. The Pakistani soldiers retreated after a brief gunbattle with Indian forces, he said.
“They not only violated the ceasefire, but also the sanctity of the line of control [LOC]” that divides Kashmir, Chawla said.
A Pakistan army spokesman, speaking on customary condition of anonymity, denied that Pakistani soldiers had been involved in an unprovoked shooting.
Kashmir is claimed in its entirety by both India and Pakistan but divided between them.
Meanwhile, AFP quoting an army spokesman, said one of the bodies of the soldiers killed was badly mutilated.
Spokesman Rajesh Kalia, said: “We lost two soldiers and one of them has been badly mutilated,” declining to give more details.
“The [Pakistani] intruders were regular soldiers and they were 400-500 metres inside our territory,” Kalia said.
While the two nations remain rivals, relations between them have improved dramatically since the 2008 Mumbai siege, in which 10 Pakistani gunmen killed 166 people and effectively shut down the city for days. India claims the terrorists had ties to Pakistani intelligence officials — an accusation Islamabad denies.
Signs of their improving ties include new visa rules announced in December designed to make cross-border travel easier. They have also been taking steps to improve cross-border trade.
A 2003 ceasefire ended the most recent round of Kashmir fighting, although each side occasionally accuses the other of violating it by firing mortars or gunshots across the LOC.
While deaths are now relatively rare, a number of Pakistani civilians were wounded by Indian shelling in November. In October, the Indian army said Pakistani troops killed three civilians when they fired across the frontier.