Heavy Fighting Erupts Along India-Pakistan Border in Kashmir
By Shahnawaz Khan
Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir
29 July 2008
The Indian Army has claimed that Pakistani troops infiltrated to its side of the line of control in Kashmir on Monday and fired at its border post killing an Indian soldier. Pakistani officials have denied their troops crossed the border and blame India for border provocations. The two sides have since exchanged fire for over twelve hours. Shahnawaz Khan reports for VOA from Srinagar.
In the latest allegations of ceasefire violations along the Kashmir border, the Indian army said Monday that a group of Pakistani troops infiltrated to its side of the line of control that divides Kashmir between the two nuclear neighbors. Pakistan disputes that version of events and says Indian troops wanted to establish a forward observation post on the border and they objected.
The Indian Army spokesman in Srinagar, A K Mathur, told VOA that Pakistani troops had infiltrated to the Indian side on Monday and fired weapons when confronted.
"At around 3 O clock we saw some movement of troops of 10 to 12 in uniform, - these Pakistani soldiers - in our side of line of control. When our patrol party were approaching them they fired and killed one of our soldiers and ran back to their side of line of control [and] from their post started firing at us. So we also retaliated," he said.
Pakistan has denied that allegation and insists that Indian troops resorted to unprovoked firing on their border posts.
Despite recent skirmishes and complaints about violations, a ceasefire has largely held on the line of control in Kashmir since 2003. Up until that time India and Pakistan regularly exchanged heavy fire. Nearly a dozen Muslim rebel groups have been fighting since 1989 for Kashmir's independence from India or its merger with Pakistan.
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