Pakistan says India shelling killed 4 soldiers in Kashmir

The Pakistani military has accused the Indian forces of killing four Pakistani soldiers by firing from across the Line of Control (LoC) in the divided Kashmir region.

“Indian troops targeted an army vehicle moving along LoC … The vehicle fell into the river and four soldiers have drowned,” Pakistan’s military said in a statement on Sunday.

The statement said Pakistani forces recovered the body of one soldier from the Neelum River and that search was going on to find the remaining three.

Officials in India’s ministry of defense said they were not informed about the incident.

India and Pakistan have seen a surge in fighting over the past months along the LoC, the de facto border which separates the two parts of Kashmir controlled by the two nuclear-armed neighbors. The two countries have repeatedly accused each other of violating a 2003 truce.

The cross-border clashes intensified following a spike in protests in the Indian-administered Kashmir last year which came after a popular militant commander were killed in the area. People in the Muslim-majority Kashmir have for years demanded independence or a merger with Pakistan. India has ignored the call and continues to police the region with a 500,000-strong military force. It also accuses Pakistan of supporting the militants in Kashmir, a charge denied by Islamabad. About 70,000 people have been killed in India’s crackdown in Kashmir since 1989.

The Pakistani military said Sunday that it had responded to the cross-border fire from the Indian side. There was no confirmation from India and whether there were any casualties.   

India said Wednesday that two of its soldiers had been killed in firing from the Pakistani side of the border. Indian authorities blamed Pakistani forces for the incident.

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