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Central & South Asia
'Clashes' erupt near Kashmir border
Pakistani and Indian forces clash near the disputed region and trade blame over the fight.
Last Modified: 23 May 2010 16:11 GMT
Ties between India and Pakistan were strained after the deadly 2008 Mumbai attack [Reuters]

Pakistani and Indian forces are reported to have engaged in deadly clashes near the border in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, with both armies trading blame for starting the fight.

Pakistan's army said one of its soldiers was killed in Sunday's clash with Indian forces across the so-called Line of Control (LoC), while India claimed one of its army troopers was injured in the incident, according to the German Press Agency (DPA).

The Pakistani soldier "embraced shahadat (martyrdom) due to unprovoked firing by Indians," across the Loc, which divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan, a statement from the army's public relations department said.

"Pakistan has lodged a strong protest with the Indians and demanded an immediate flag meeting," it said.

"However intermittent firing is continuing at Battal sector of Pakistan's Rawalakot district."

Conflicting reports

However, the Indian military said that Pakistan started the clash and that Pakistani troops also had fired rockets.

"Indian troops retaliated and a heavy exchange of gunfire was on," IANS, an Indian newswire, cited an army spokesperson as saying.

An Indian soldier was injured in the mortar fire by Pakistani troops, the spokesman said.

Both Pakistan and India control part of Kashmir region. But each side lays claim over the whole of the territory.

The rival south Asian nations have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir since their independence from Britain in 1947.

They signed a Kashmir ceasefire in late 2003 which has generally held except for occasional exchanges of fire.

Source:
Agencies
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