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Indian army officer killed in clash with Pakistani troops on Kashmir LoC


08:32, June 08, 2013

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, June 7 (Xinhua) -- A Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) of Indian army was killed Friday in an exchange of fire between Pakistani troopers on line-of- control (LoC) dividing Kashmir, officials said.

The officer was killed during a ceasefire violation in Saujiyan- Mandi sector of frontier Poonch district, close to LoC, around 180 km southwest of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian- controlled Kashmir.

"Pakistani troops resorted to firing on Indian positions through thick forest area in Poonch this afternoon," said S N Acharaya, Indian army spokesman posted in Jammu city. "The fire was retaliated in a calibrated manner. During the standoff, a shrapnel hit a JCO on our side, wounding him critically. However, he later on succumbed."

The exchange of fire between the two sides has heightened tension in the area. Acharaya said firing has stopped but the area was cordoned off and an alert has been sounded.

LoC is a de facto border that divides Kashmir into Indian and Pakistani controlled parts. Last month an Indian army Brigader and two troopers were wounded in exchange of fire between the two armies in Tutamari Gali of Nowgam sector, close to LoC in frontier Kupwara district, around 120 km northwest of Srinagar.

Earlier this year skirmishes between armies of the two nuclear neighbors claimed lives of five troopers (two from India and three from Pakistan).

New Delhi and Islamabad in 2003 agreed to observe a ceasefire along the international border and LoC in Kashmir. Though some violations have been reported on both sides, the ceasefire remains in effect.

Kashmir, the Himalayan region divided between India and Pakistan, is claimed by both in full. Since their independence from Britain, the two countries have fought three wars, two exclusively over Kashmir.

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