Taking shelter: Indian border villagers sleeping inside an Indian army banker during allegedly firing from the Pakistan side at Abdullian village, about 35km from Jammu. - EPA
SRINAGAR: India’s army clashed with suspected militants in Indian Kashmir near the disputed border with Pakistan, leaving two soldiers and four rebels dead, a military official said.
Soldiers encountered the militants, who are believed to have crossed the de facto border into Indian Kashmir’s Keran sector, some 150km northwest of the main city of Srinagar on Saturday night, the official said.
“In the resultant exchange of fire between army and terrorists, one soldier was injured who succumbed later (to his injuries),” defence spokesman Colonel N.N. Joshi said.
Another soldier and four suspected militants were killed early on Sunday in a separate counter-insurgency operation in a nearby forested area of Kalaroos, Joshi said.
“Fighting is over in the area and identification of the four killed (militants) was not ascertained yet,” Joshi said, confirming the soldier died in the firing.
The violence comes after India last week called off high-level talks with Pakistan, scheduled to take place in Islamabad, angry that Pakistani officials had met with Kashmiri separatist leaders in New Delhi.
Pakistan described the cancellation of the talks between the foreign secretaries as a “setback” for closer relations with India’s new right-wing government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India’s military says it has stepped up operations to flush out suspected Pakistani militants moving across the heavily militarised de facto border known as the Line of Control (LoC). — AFP