Indian army says soldier killed on LoC patrol in Kashmir

SRINAGAR: Indian troops came under fire while patrolling the militarized cease-fire line with Pakistan on Monday and one Indian soldier was killed, officials said.

Authorities have not determined if the shots were fired by Pakistani soldiers or by rebels who have been fighting for 25 years against India’s rule over parts of the disputed Himalayan territory.

Two military officers speaking on customary condition of anonymity said the Indian troops had been on a routine patrol in the Uri region near the Line of Control, which divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan. Both countries claim the territory in its entirety.

Naresh Vig, an army spokesman in Indian Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar, claimed the fire came from the Pakistan-controlled side of Kashmir.

The incident follows a recent escalation in border fighting between Indian and Pakistani troops.

India accuses Pakistan of arming and training rebels who have been fighting in Indian-controlled Kashmir since 1989 for independence or a merger with Pakistan. An estimated 68,000 people have been killed in the militant uprising and Indian crackdown, though most resistance is now shown through street protests.

Pakistan denies giving any backing to the rebels beyond moral and diplomatic support.