The Pakistan Army on Tuesday denied killing five Indian soldiers in an attack on a military post as reported by Indian officials.
“No Pakistani troops either crossed into India nor carried out any unprovoked firing. The Indian allegations are totally baseless,” said a military spokesman. Earlier, Indian forces had alleged that Pakistani troops had killed five Indian soldiers in an attack on a military post in Indian-administered Kashmir.
“Pakistani troops simply attacked the Indian post, violating the ceasefire and they killed five of our soldiers,” a senior army official in Indian-administered Kashmir had claimed on condition of anonymity.
Sources in the defense ministry in New Delhi confirmed the Monday night incident, which occurred just days after Pakistan proposed restarting peace talks with India.
The picturesque Himalayan territory of Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan by an U.N.-monitored de facto border known as the Line of Control (LoC), but is claimed in full by both countries.
Omar Abdullah, the state’s chief minister in India, tweeted about the attack and said: “Was briefed early this morning about news that 5 of our soldiers had been killed on the LoC. My heartfelt condolences to their next of kin.”
“These incidents don’t help efforts to normalize or even improve relations with Pak & call in to question the Pak Govt’s recent overtures,” he tweeted.
More than a dozen armed rebel groups have been fighting Indian forces since 1989 demanding independence for Kashmir or a merger with Pakistan. India and Pakistan have fought three wars since their independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over Kashmir.