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Pak Army denies firing incident

world Updated: May 20, 2008 10:03 IST

Pakistan on Monday denied as "baseless" the Indian Army's assertion that one of its soldiers was killed in cross-border firing in Jammu and Kashmir, saying there was "no such incident".

An Indian Army spokesman said the soldier died in shooting from the Pakistani side of the Line of Control in Poonch sector. He said Indian troops observed restraint and did not retaliate. Indian Army authorities later lodged a protest with their Pakistani counterparts.

Maj Gen Athar Abbas, the Pakistan Army's chief spokesman, said an investigation by local commanders had shown there was "no such incident".

"This is a baseless allegation and we have sought a flag meeting of local commanders from the two sides on the matter. It doesn't make sense that unprovoked firing will take place from the Pakistani side," Abbas told PTI.

This was the third such incident along the LoC this month and came two days ahead of External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's talks in Islamabad with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi to review the composite dialogue process.

The Pakistan Army had earlier denied India's assertion that its troops along the LoC had come under fire from the Pakistani side on May 8 and May 13.

Troops on both sides of the LoC used to frequently exchange artillery and machine gun fire until a truce came into force along the borders in Kashmir in November 2003.