LoC flare-up: Five Indian soldiers killed as our troops responded violently, claims Pakistan

Indian army personnel rush towards an encounter site in Kashmir. (FPK file Photo/Vikar Syed)

Srinagar: Pakistan on Saturday evening claimed that it killed at least five soldiers of the Indian army along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.

The LoC – de facto border between India and Pakistan dividing Jammu and Kashmir into two parts – has been witnessing skirmishes for many days now.

At least four civilians died two days ago, after the Indian and Pakistani troops traded fire across the border. Each side claimed the death of two people on their side, due to the shelling of mortars.

“Five Indian soldiers were killed during a cross-border exchange of fire as Pakistani troops responded to an ‘unprovoked’ ceasefire violation in the Tatta Pani sector along the Line of Control (LoC) on Saturday,” Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) – media wing of Pakistan’s three armed services – said.

“Indian bunkers were also destroyed in the firing,” the ISPR claimed adding that Pakistani troops “violently responded”.

Today’s episode marks the second incident of cross-border firing this week.

On Thursday, two GREF personnel were killed and three others injured in alleged cross-border shelling in Poonch district. Pakistan said that two civilians were killed and six others injured due to firing by Indian troops along the LoC in PaK.

India on the other hand is blaming Pakistan for “using cross-border shelling to push militants in to this side of Kashmir” while Pakistan alleges that ceasefire violations are “aimed at diverting attention from Kashmir Issue”.

In 2016, which witnessed massive anti-India uprising in Kashmir Valley, an Indian army base was attacked in Uri in Baramulla district in September by suspected militants which resulted in the death of nineteen Indian Army soldiers.

However, in the following days, India claimed that it conducted a cross-border “surgical strike” against alleged “launch pads of militants” in Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) — a claim Pakistan strongly rejected.

The two neighbouring nuclear armed countries are witnessing tensions as India approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to secure consular access to alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav.

Jadhav, an Indian navy officer, has been sentenced to death by a Field General Court Martial (FGCM) in Pakistan over his alleged involvement in espionage and terrorism.

In a hearing of the case on May 18, a 10-member bench at The Hague restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav.

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