India says Pakistani shelling killed three soldiers in Kashmir | India

The Indian Army says Pakistan opened fire in the LoC without provocation, killing two Indian soldiers while another was killed overnight.

Three Indian soldiers were killed by Pakistani shells over the disputed border in India-administered Kashmir, the Indian army said.

Indian army spokesman Rajesh Kalia said Pakistan opened fire in the Nowgam sector early Thursday without provocation, killing two Indian soldiers and injuring four.

Another Indian soldier was killed in a night fire by Pakistani forces in the Poonch Sector, he said.

“Our troops reacted strongly to enemy fire,” said Kalia.

Pakistan accused the Indian armed forces of violating a ceasefire in the region and injuring a civilian.

Shelling often occurs along the Line of Control (LoC), the de facto border between the Kashmir region, which both nuclear armed countries claim in full but rule in part.

The Pakistani Foreign Ministry said in a statement Thursday that it had summoned a senior Indian diplomat in Islamabad to protest ceasefire violations by Indian forces along the LoC, involving a 65-year-old civilian in the Jandrot sector, the day before was wounded.

On Thursday before, Pakistani Foreign Minister Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri accused New Delhi of escalating tensions along the LoC “in order to divert the world’s attention from its human rights violations in Indian-occupied Kashmir”.

The statement said India committed 2,404 ceasefire violations that year, in which 192 civilians were killed and injured 19 times.

According to India, Pakistani forces often open fire to help armed fighters sneak across the LoC and join a decades-long armed insurrection.

Pakistan says there is only moral and diplomatic support for the Kashmiri people fighting for self-determination.

Persistent tension

Tensions between the two countries increased in February 2019 when 40 Indian paramilitary soldiers were killed in a suicide bombing in Indian-administered Kashmir.

India retaliated with air strikes on Pakistani territory.

Pakistan shot down one of the planes in Kashmir and captured a pilot who was later released.

India said the attacks were directed against Pakistani fighters responsible for the suicide bombings.

Relations have remained strained since August last year, when India revoked the decades-long semi-autonomous status of the Muslim-majority region and divided the region into two federal-ruled areas, Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, causing anger on both sides of the border.

The violence is taking place amid mounting tensions between India and China along their disputed border in the Ladakh region, where the two Asian giants have been embroiled in a bitter stalemate that has lasted for months.

In the past few months, the two countries have accumulated tens of thousands of additional troops in the already militarized region. In June, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a clash on a high ridge between soldiers with clubs, stones and their fists.