Kashmir shooting kills 1 soldier: Indian army


The Indian army said on Monday it lost one soldier in a shooting from the Pakistani side of Kashmir along the heavily guarded frontier.

An Indian army post along the ceasefire line dividing Kashmir between longtime rivals came under grenade, rocket and small arms fire attack from Pakistani territory, said Lieutenant Colonel Shantanu Dass Goswami, an Indian army spokesman.

The army was investigating whether Pakistani soldiers fired on the Indian post or some Islamic insurgents killed the Indian soldier while trying to sneak into the Indian side of Kashmir from Pakistan territory, Lieutenant Colonel  Anil Kumar Mathur, the army spokesman in New Delhi, told The Associated Press.

Indian troops observed restraint, Goswami said, adding “Pakistan is… responsible for this unprovoked attack”.

Pakistan military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas called the allegation “baseless”.

“No firing from this side of any kind has taken place,” Abbas said, adding that military officials would pursue a meeting with their Indian counterparts to clarify the matter.

The incident took place in the Mendhar region, nearly 180 kilometres southwest of Srinagar, the summer capital of India’s Jammu-Kashmir state.

Monday’s was the second incident of firing across the frontier in the past week ahead of the Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Pakistan for official talks, the first since the assumption of power by a civilian government in Islamabad.

Last week, the Indian army alleged that Pakistani troops fired at another Indian army post across the ceasefire line, a charge denied by Pakistan.

The frontier has been largely quiet since a 2003 cease-fire between India and Pakistan.

Kashmir is split between India and Pakistan, who have fought two of their three wars over the Himalayan region. Both claim all of Kashmir.

Nearly a dozen Islamic rebel groups have been fighting for Kashmir’s independence from India or its merger with Pakistan since 1989. More than 68,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the conflict.