Indian soldiers shot on Pakistan border


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The Independent Online

Pakistani soldiers crossed the ceasefire line in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir today and attacked an army patrol, killing two Indian soldiers, an Indian army official said.

The outbreak of violence was the second in three days in Kashmir, where a ceasefire between the two wary, nuclear-armed rivals has largely held for a decade. India and Pakistan have fought two full-scale wars over Kashmir, the only Muslim-majority state in largely Hindu India.

Syed Akbaruddin, a spokesman for India’s foreign ministry, said military commanders from the two countries had been in contact since the violence. Such contacts normally occur to make sure confrontations do not escalate.

Brigadier S Chawla, an Indian army officer, said the Pakistani soldiers crossed into Indian-controlled Kashmir near Mendhar, about 110 miles from Srinagar, the region’s main city, taking advantage of thick fog. The Pakistani soldiers retreated after a brief gun battle with Indian forces, he said. He said one of the Indian bodies had been mutilated, but provided no more details.

A Pakistan army spokesman denied that Pakistani soldiers had been involved in an unprovoked shooting.