Pakistani troops crossed the Line of Control in Kashmir and fired on an Indian picket on Monday afternoon killing one soldier, army sources said. Four Pakistani soldiers were also killed when the Indian side retaliated, reliable sources said.
In what is the biggest instance of violation ever since the ceasefire came into effect in November 2003, Pakistani soldiers in the Kiyan Bowl area of the Nowgam sector of Kupwara district in northwest Kashmir crossed the border and began firing at around 3.30 pm Indian troops fired back.
Heavy exchange of fire was still continuing when reports last came in.
Col AK Mathur , defence spokesperson in Kashmir, said the altercation began when Pakistani soldiers objected to a picket Indian troops were building on their side of the border. With neither side willing to back down, about a dozen Pakistani soldiers stormed across and began firing.
“One of our soldiers was hit. He tumbled into a deep ditch and was killed,” Mathur said. The victim belonged to the 22 Rajput Battalion.
Col Mathur, however, refused to confirm whether the Pakistanis had suffered any casualties.
On November 26, 2003, the Indian and Pakistani armies mutually agreed to end the exchange of fire along the LoC which had become a regular feature since the Kargil hostilities ended. Although the ceasefire has been violated 16 times since then, starting fromJanuary 2005, the present clash is the most serious.
India has called for a flag meeting with Pakistan army at the battalion level to sort out the issue.