TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -Pakistan says Indian forces have killed four of its troops in cross-border fire targeting the Islamabad-administered part of disputed Kashmir.
In a statement on Monday, the Pakistani military said its soldiers were “doing maintenance” on communication lines in the border village of Kotli when they came under the fire earlier in the day.
The statement added that those fired at were on the Pakistani side of the border at the time of the incident.
Retaliatory fire from the Pakistani forces, it said, killed three Indian forces.
Earlier, the Indian army said it had killed at least five suspected militants, who crossed into the Indian-controlled part of the disputed Himalayan region and engaged in a gunfight with New Delhi’s forces.
Col. Rajesh Kalia, an Indian army spokesman, said the gunbattle began early Monday when soldiers intercepted heavily armed militants along the highly militarized de facto border.
The Muslim-majority Kashmir region is divided between Pakistan and India, but claimed by both in its entirety. The neighbors have fought three wars over control of the Himalayan region since the countries’ partition in 1947.
New Delhi regularly accuses Pakistan of arming and training militants and allowing them across the restive frontier in an attempt to launch attacks on Indian forces.
Islamabad, however, strongly denies the allegation and accuses India of committing “war crimes” in Kashmir and “exporting terror” to Pakistan.
Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Kashmir, where most people demand that the region be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.
Most people on the New Delhi-administered side support pro-independence militants while also holding street protests against Indian control.
Despite a ceasefire agreement that was reached in November 2003, sporadic skirmishes continue in the region.