Two Indian soldiers killed near disputed border region; one said to be mutilated

Two killed in clash, but Islamabad denies claim one of its patrols crossed over disputed border

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 January, 2013, 3:45am


Pakistani troops killed two Indian soldiers yesterday near the disputed border between the nuclear-armed neighbours in Kashmir, the Indian Army said, adding that one of the bodies was badly mutilated.

The firefight broke out at about noon after an Indian patrol discovered Pakistani troops about half a kilometre inside Indian territory, an army spokesman said.

In Islamabad, a Pakistan military spokesman denied what he called an "Indian allegation of unprovoked firing", adding that the Indian account was "propaganda to divert the attention of the world from Sunday's raid on a Pakistani post".

A ceasefire has been in place along the Line of Control that has divided the countries since 2003, but it is periodically violated by both sides and Pakistan said Indian troops killed a Pakistani soldier on Sunday.

Relations have been slowly improving over the past few years following a rupture in their slow-moving peace process after the 2008 attacks on Mumbai, which India blamed on Pakistan-based militants.

"There was a firefight with Pakistani troops," army spokesman Rajesh Kalia said from the mountainous Himalayan region.

"We lost two soldiers and one of them has been badly mutilated," he added, declining to give more details on the injuries.

"The intruders were regular [Pakistani] soldiers and they were 400-500 metres inside our territory," he said of the clash.

On Sunday Pakistan said Indian troops had crossed the Line of Control and stormed a military post. It said one Pakistani soldier was killed and another injured.

It lodged a formal protest with India on Monday over what it called an unprovoked attack.

India denied crossing the line, saying it had retaliated with small arms fire after Pakistani mortars hit a village home.