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Pakistan blames India over Kashmir clash

22 August 2013, 09:06

Islamabad - Pakistan accused Indian troops on Wednesday of killing an army officer and seriously wounding a soldier in the latest clash across the disputed border in Kashmir.

Tensions have flared between the nuclear-armed neighbours in recent weeks over the Himalayan territory, which both control in part but claim in full.

Skirmishes have erupted across the heavily militarised Line of Control (LoC) since five Indian soldiers were killed earlier this month in an ambush which Delhi has blamed on the Pakistan army.

"A Pakistan Army officer, Captain Sarfraz, embraced shahadat [martyrdom] due to Indian troops' unprovoked shelling at Shakma sector on line of control," a Pakistani military statement said.

Another soldier was seriously wounded in the firing which began late on Tuesday, the statement said, adding that Pakistani troops had returned fire.

Pakistan's foreign ministry late on Wednesday said the Indian deputy high commissioner in Islamabad was summoned and "a strong protest was lodged over the unprovoked firing by Indian army soldiers".

"Pakistan conveyed its serious concern on the continued violations of the ceasefire across the LoC by the Indian Army over the past few weeks and the escalation of tensions," the statement said, calling upon India "to take serious and credible measures to prevent further ceasefire violations and reduce tensions".

An Indian army official told AFP he had no information about the incident or the casualties reported by Pakistan.

India's Defence Minister AK Antony said Monday the army would take "all possible steps" to counter ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the border following the 6 August raid that left five Indian soldiers dead.

Islamabad denied any involvement in the ambush which triggered the latest round of clashes. The incident was the deadliest in years targeting Indian troops in the disputed Muslim-majority region.

Kashmir has been the trigger for two of three wars between the two nations.

The renewed tensions have jeopardised plans for what the two governments hoped might be a breakthrough encounter between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of a UN meeting in New York next month.

But Indian foreign ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin told AFP that for any dialogue with Pakistan, there has to be a conducive environment first.

"An environment in which terrorism or violence is perpetrated against India is not the right environment," he said.



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