Pakistani troops killed by Indian shelling in Kashmir
PAKISTAN - Pakistan says seven of its soldiers have been killed by Indian firing on the frontline of the contested Himalayan region of Kashmir. The incident happened in the Bhimber sector of the line of control, a brief statement by Pakistan’s army said. “Pakistani troops, while responding to Indian unprovoked firing, targeted Indian posts effectively,” it added. Pakistan’s foreign affairs ministry condemned what it described as “continuous unprovoked” firing and said the army was responding in a “befitting manner”. The LOC is the ceasefire line between the two countries, which have fought three conflicts over Kashmir, a Muslim majority state that joined India after the partition of the subcontinent in 1947. The two nuclear armed neighbours are embroiled in an increasingly acrimonious diplomatic standoff. Pakistan has lodged several complaints with India over what it says is the targeting of civilians living on its side of the LOC. It has said at least 25 people have been killed in recent weeks. Tensions have been stoked following two attacks this year on Indian military bases, which Delhi blames on Pakistan-based militant groups that it claims receives clandestine state support. The first attack, on the Pathankot airbase in Indian Punjab, took place in January shortly after hopes for peace in south Asia had been stoked by the surprise visit of the Indian prime minister to Lahore on Christmas Day. Nineteen soldiers died during the second assault on a base near the town of Uri in Indian Kashmir in September.
Kashmiri protesters clash with Indian police earlier this month. (Photo: Getty Images)