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Indian troops kill Pakistani soldier near Kashmir border Strict curfew imposed in most of Kashmir

SRINAGAR, India, Feb 15, (Agencies): Indian troops shot dead a Pakistani soldier along the de facto border in the disputed Kashmir region in the first deadly exchange since a truce was agreed a month ago, officials said Friday.

An Indian army spokesman said that the soldier had been killed in a firefight in which one Indian soldier was also wounded, and an AK47 rifle was discovered by his side when the body was recovered.

“We detected some suspicious movement yesterday near the LoC (Line of Control) inside our territory and the challengers from our side fired and in the ensuing firefight he was killed,” Lieutenant Colonel Rajesh Kalia, a spokesman for the Indian army’s northern command, told AFP.

“At that time we did not know he was a Pakistani soldier. We killed an infiltrator,” the spokesman added.
The Pakistani military condemned the killing, saying the soldier had become lost and crossed the LoC “inadvertently” and that civilians at the scene had seen him being questioned by the Indians.

“We condemn such an inhuman and brutal act of killing our soldier after he had identified himself and explained his position,” a spokesman said.

“This is not the first such event. We have returned Indian soldiers in the past, who had similarly strayed.”
The spokesman later confirmed that the Indians had handed the soldier’s body to the Pakistani army.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry demanded an investigation into the incident.

“Pakistan calls upon the Government of India to carry out a thorough investigation into this unfortunate incident and to ensure that such incidents do not recur,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

It was the first fatal exchange between troops in the region since the two armies agreed a ceasefire on Jan 16.

Pakistan has asked India to carry out a thorough investigation into the incident and ensure it does not recur. But the Indians blamed the Pakistani soldier, saying he had begun firing when confronted by their troops.

Lt Col Rajesh Kalia, a spokesman for the Indian army in Kashmir, said the soldier was killed in a firefight with Indian troops in which an Indian soldier was injured. He said Indian troops had seen “suspicious movement” in the Nowshera sector of the line of control.

SRINAGAR, India: Authorities re-introduced a strict curfew across most of Indian-controlled Kashmir ahead of Friday prayers, as residents simmered with anger over the secret execution of a Kashmiri man in the Indian capital.
Police drove through the streets of Srinagar, the main city, ordering residents to stay indoors. Despite the curfew, clashes and protests broke out in several places, police said.
Troops did not allow Friday prayers at main mosques in areas under the curfew, including Srinagar’s Jamia Majid, for fear that worshippers would carry out protest marches afterward. However, residents were able to offer prayers at smaller neighborhood mosques.

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