India summons Pakistan envoy over 'killing of soldiers'

India blames Pakistan for the killing and mutilation of two troops along the Line of Control, a claim Islamabad denies.

    India's foreign secretary S. Jaishankar "conveyed outrage" at the killing of the soldiers  [File: AP]
    India's foreign secretary S. Jaishankar "conveyed outrage" at the killing of the soldiers [File: AP]

    India has summoned Pakistan's ambassador to demand that Islamabad take action over the alleged killing and mutilation of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani forces.

    The Indian army said the troops were killed and dismembered on Monday in an ambush along the highly militarised Line of Control - the de-facto border in the disputed region of Kashmir - and said Pakistani soldiers were to blame.

    Pakistan has denied the claim.

    According to India's Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Gopal Baglay, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar summoned Pakistan's High Commissioner Abdul Basit on Wednesday and conveyed "outrage at the killing and the barbaric act of mutilation" of the soldiers.

    There was no immediate reaction from Islamabad over the summoning of its ambassador.

    The Pakistani military has denied the Indian allegations and said it had not committed any ceasefire violation along the Line of Control.

    "Pakistani army is a highly professional force and shall never disrespect a soldier, even an Indian," it said in a statement on Monday.

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    India said that Pakistani soldiers fired rockets and mortars at two Indian positions southwest of the Line of Control in the Krishna Ghati sector. Pakistani soldiers then ambushed an Indian patrol operating between the two posts, killed two soldiers and cut up their bodies, according to the army's statement.

    The "unsoldierly act" would be "appropriately responded", it vowed.

    The news of the killings sparked anger in India and dominated the front pages of newspapers this week.

    India and Pakistan have a long history of bitter relations over Kashmir, a Himalayan territory claimed by both. They have fought two of their three wars over the region since they gained independence from British colonial rule in 1947.

    READ MORE: Fire exchanged across India-Pakistan border in Kashmir

    The Line of Control is guarded by the Indian and Pakistani armies and divides the two parts of Kashmir. Each country also has a separate paramilitary border force guarding the lower-altitude frontier separating Indian-administered Kashmir and the Pakistani province of Punjab.

    In the past, both countries have accused the other of initiating border skirmishes leading to the deaths of soldiers and civilians on both sides.

    In Indian-administered Kashmir, rebel groups have been fighting the Indian army for decades for independence or merger with Pakistan.

    Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the fighting.

    Mental health concerns in Indian-administered Kashmir

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


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