SRINAGAR, India (AP) — The Indian army accused Pakistan on Thursday of killing three soldiers and wounding four in shelling along the highly militarized frontier dividing disputed Kashmir between the two nuclear-armed rivals.
Indian army spokesman Col. Rajesh Kalia said two soldiers died and four were wounded when Pakistani soldiers fired mortar rounds and other weapons in the northwestern Nowgam sector along the Line of Control in Kupwara district.
Kalia called the incident “an unprovoked violation” of a 2003 cease-fire accord and said Indian troops gave “befitting response.”
Separately, another soldier was killed in Pakistan shelling and firing in southern Poonch district along the frontier on Wednesday night, said Lt. Col. Devender Anand, another Indian military spokesman.
There was no immediate comment from Pakistan.
The two neighbors have fought two of their three wars over the territory and India accuses Pakistan of arming and training insurgents fighting for Kashmir’s independence from India. Pakistan denies the charge and says it offers only diplomatic and moral support to the rebels.
Tensions soared in February 2019, when a suicide bombing killed 40 Indian paramilitary soldiers in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir, and India retaliated with airstrikes inside Pakistani territory. Pakistan shot down one of the warplanes in Kashmir and captured a pilot who was quickly released. India said the strikes targeted Pakistan-based militants responsible for the suicide bombing.
Relations have been further strained since August last year, when India revoked the Muslim-majority region’s decades-old semi-autonomous status, touching off anger on both sides of the frontier.
Since then, rivals troops have traded fire almost daily along the rugged and mountainous frontier, leaving dozens of civilians and soldiers dead on both sides.