Indian Troops Kill Pakistani Soldier in Kashmir Border Clash

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NEW DELHI -- Indian troops have shot and killed another Pakistani soldier at the de facto border between the two countries in Kashmir, adding to an unusually tense period in the disputed region.

A statement released Friday by the Indian Army said that Indian soldiers saw an intruder at 3 p.m. on Thursday in the Nowshera sector of the so-called Line of Control separating the Indian- and Pakistani-held parts of Kashmir. The Indian soldiers challenged the intruder, who "opened indiscriminate fire," wounding two soldiers, the statement said. The soldiers returned fire and later found a dead Pakistani soldier in uniform, it said.

On Friday at 10 a.m., Pakistani commanders called their Indian counterparts and asked for the body to be returned, according to the Indian statement.

"Acceding to this request," the statement said, "the dead body was returned to Pakistan Army personnel in the same sector in the evening with military respects."

A Pakistani military official sent a text message to reporters on Friday saying that the soldier had accidentally crossed the boundary, The Associated Press reported.

The A.P. report said the Pakistani military later issued a statement accusing the Indian troops of killing the soldier after he had explained his mistake.

"We condemn such an inhuman and brutal act of killing our soldier after he had identified himself and explained his position," the statement said, according to The A. P.

Last month, three Pakistani soldiers and two Indian soldiers were killed at the border, and one of the Indian soldiers was beheaded. The killings heightened tensions between the two nuclear-armed countries to their worst since they agreed to a cease-fire in 2003. The two countries have been in conflict over Kashmir almost since their founding in 1947.

Border skirmishes are not the only immediate problem in Kashmir. Last weekend, Indian authorities executed Mohammed Afzal, known as Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri who was convicted of participating in a 2001 attack on India's Parliament. Many in Kashmir believe that Mr. Afzal did not receive a fair trial, and have expressed outrage over the timing and circumstances of his execution.

Indian officials put a curfew in place following the execution. Nevertheless, as many as 25 protests have flared around the Indian-held parts of Kashmir, and there have been at least 110 arrests. The region is predominantly Muslim, and curfew was tightened Friday, the Muslim day of prayer, and many of the major mosques in Srinagar, the main city, were closed Friday.

The week before the execution, a Kashmiri girls' rock band decided to disband after threats against the members were posted on social media sites and a top Muslim cleric asked that they stop performing.

Hari Kumar contributed reporting.

world

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.


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