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Pakistani, Indian troops exchange fire across LoC

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani and Indian troops exchanged fire across the Line of Control (LoC) in the Bhimber sector early Saturday, an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement said.

“Pakistani troops befittingly responded to Indian unprovoked firing which started at 0400 and continued till 0800 at LoC in Bhimber sector,” said the ISPR.

The ISPR did not say whether there were any casualties on either sides.

In 2003, Pakistan and India reached a landmark agreement to maintain ceasefire along the LoC. However, many violations have occurred since.

Sound byte: ‘Nothing new about LoC violations’

The fresh exchange of fire comes two days after India claimed to have carried out surgical strikes on “terror launch pads along the LoC” in Pakistan, raising the already heightened tensions between the two countries. The Pakistani military swiftly rubbished these claims, saying its two soldiers died in cross-border firing by Indian troops.

It later emerged that an Indian soldier was captured by the Pakistan army, while Indian soldiers were also killed in a “befitting response” by Pakistani troops.

Soaring tensions

The latest incident of cross-border firing came as tensions simmer between Pakistan and India over the Kashmir issue.

Last week, India initiated a diplomatic drive to isolate Pakistan after blaming it for the Sept 18 attack on the Uri army camp in IHK which killed 18 soldiers ─ a claim which Pakistan has rejected.

Tensions between the South Asian rivals have been high since an Indian crackdown on dissent in India-held Kashmir following the killing by Indian forces of Burhan Wani, a young separatist leader, in July.

On Wednesday, India pulled out of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit scheduled to be held in November in Islamabad. Several other Saarc members followed suit, leading to the postponement of the summit.

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