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New Pakistan-India clashes erupt along restive Kashmir border

Clashes killed at least two Pakistanis [Getty]

Date of publication: 16 December, 2020

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Two Pakistani soldiers were killed in clashes along the heavily militarised Line of Control (LoC), Pakistan’s military said.
An exchange of fire between Pakistan and India forces in the disputed mountainous territory of Kashmir has left two Pakistani soldiers dead, authorities confirmed on Wednesday.

Two Pakistani soldiers were killed in the clashes at the heavily militarised Line of Control (LoC), Pakistan's military said.

"During [an] intense exchange of fire two soldiers, Naik Shahjahan, age 35 years and Sepoy Hameed, age 21 years, while fighting valiantly embraced [martyrdom]," a statement from the Pakistan military said.

Its forces inflicted "heavy losses to Indian troops in men and material", the statement added, without providing further details.

India's military has yet to issue an official statement on the incident.

Last month, Indian and Pakistani forces on Friday waged their biggest artillery battle in several months along the disputed Kashmir frontier, leaving more than 10 dead and dozens wounded on both sides, officials said.

At least five separate clashes - involving shelling and gunfire - were reported along the 740-kilometre (460-mile) ceasefire line that has separated the nuclear-armed rivals for the past seven decades, officials have said.

Hundreds of villagers were moved away from the so-called Line of Control (LoC) in Indian-controlled territory, while Pakistani officials said dozens of homes were set ablaze after Indian shelling.

The peak in tensions came days after three Indian soldiers and three militants were killed in another exchange along the LoC. India is also involved in a border showdown with the Chinese army in the Himalayas.

Kashmir has been divided between the two countries since their angry separation in 1947. It has also been a cause of two of their three wars since then.

Both countries claim the whole of the Himalayan region, where India is also fighting an insurgency that has left tens of thousands dead since 1989.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched what he called "surgical strikes" inside Pakistani Kashmir in 2016 after militants attacked an Indian base killing 19 soldiers.

The neighbours staged air strikes against each other last year after a suicide bomb attack in which more than 45 Indian troops were killed.

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