Pakistan shelling kills three soldiers in Kashmir; troops responding befittingly, says army officer

Indian Army spokesman Lt Col Devender Anand said two soldiers were killed in the southern Rajouri district on Friday while an officer was killed in neighbouring Poonch district late Thursday

The Associated Press November 27, 2020 16:48:42 IST
Pakistan shelling kills three soldiers in Kashmir; troops responding befittingly, says army officer

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Srinagar: At least three Indian soldiers were killed in a barrage of mortar shelling and gunfire by Pakistani soldiers in Kashmir, an official said Friday.

Indian army spokesman Lt Col Devender Anand said two soldiers were killed on Friday when Pakistani soldiers conducted an unprovoked violation of a 2003 cease-fire accord between the nuclear-armed countries in the southern Rajouri district.

An Indian army officer was killed in Pakistani shelling in neighboring Poonch district late Thursday, Anand said. He said the Indian troops responded befittingly to "the enemy fire".

On 13 November, nine civilians and six soldiers were killed on both sides as Indian and Pakistani soldiers exchanged artillery fire at multiple locations along the Line of Control. The fatalities were some of the highest reported in recent years in a single day.

Since gaining independence from Britain in 1947, India and Pakistan have fought two wars over Kashmir.

Tensions soared in February 2019, when a suicide bombing killed 40 Indian paramilitary soldiers in Kashmir, and India retaliated with airstrikes inside Pakistani territory.

Pakistan shot down one of the warplanes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and captured a pilot who was quickly released. India said the strikes targeted Pakistan-based militants responsible for the suicide bombing.

The tensions further soared when Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government in August last year scrapped Kashmir's special status, annulled its separate constitution, split the region into two Union territories Ladakh and Jammu-Kashmir, and removed inherited protections on land and jobs.

The move triggered widespread anger and economic ruin amid a harsh security clampdown and communications blackout.

Since then, the two countries' soldiers have engaged in near-daily fighting along the de facto border in Kashmir, killing scores of soldiers and civilians on both sides.

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