Alexa

1 Indian soldier killed on Kashmir frontier

1 Indian soldier killed on Kashmir frontier

Firing from Pakistan's side of the disputed frontier in Kashmir early Monday killed an Indian army soldier at a border post, police said.
Basanth Rath, superintendent of police, said the incident occurred in Punch area, nearly 155 miles (250 kilometers) northwest of Jammu, the winter capital of India's Jammu-Kashmir state.
He said it was unclear who started the firing, but that it could have been the Pakistani army, or Islamic militants trying to cross into part of divided Kashmir from Pakistani territory.
Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit declined to comment directly on Monday's incident.
The Indian and Pakistan armies have observed a cease-fire along the Kashmir frontier since 2003. There have been isolated reports of firing since then.
India accuses Pakistani forces of opening fire to provide cover for Islamic insurgents trying to enter Indian Kashmir, where they are battling New Delhi's rule. Pakistan denies giving material support, saying its lends only diplomatic backing to the rebels _ who are fighting for independence or merger with Pakistan.
"We are against terrorism, but the struggle in Kashmir is not terrorism," Basit said, calling violence in Indian Kashmir part of an "indigenous struggle."
Elsewhere in Kashmir, Indian security forces opened fire and lobbed tear gas to disperse hundreds of stone throwing pro-independence protesters, killing two and injuring at least 10 others, police said.
The unrest broke out in Baramullah town, 35 miles (55 kilometers) north of Srinagar, the main city of Indian-held Kashmir after a young couple eloped. Locals accused police of detaining and abusing relatives of the boy who sought help from authorities in getting the two to return. As the incident escalated, locals directed their anger toward Indian security forces.
Sajjad Ahmed, a local police officer, said a curfew has now been imposed in the town.
Of the 10 wounded in the clashes, at least three have gunshot wounds, he said.
Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Kashmir, which is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed in its entirety by both. The South Asian neighbors have fought two of three wars over Kashmir since independence from Britain in 1947.