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17 January 2018, 02:58 | Floyd Cook
Army Day Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind meet troops
The Pakistani army said four of its soldiers and three Indian troops had been killed in an exchange of fire across the heavily militarised de-facto border known as the Line of Control (LoC).
An Indian military official, however, blamed Pakistani soldiers for initially attacking Indian positions and claimed their counter-offensive killed seven Pakistani soldiers.
The incidents coincided with Army Day, celebrated on January 15, with army chief General Bipin Rawat warning of stronger action against Pakistan-backed terrorism and anti-India activities in Jammu and Kashmir.
Also on Monday, fighting erupted between the Indian troops and militants when soldiers intercepted heavily armed insurgents along the highly militarized de facto border that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan, said Col. Rajesh Kalia, an Indian army spokesman.
"The troops were busy in line communication maintenance in Jandrot and Kotli sectors of Azad Jammu & Kashmir when they were fired upon and hit by [a] heavy mortar round", Pakistani media said quoting ISPR.
Pakistan, on the other hand, accuses India of grave human rights violations in the part of Kashmir under Indian control, which has long faced a separatist movement. The information of 4 Pakistani army soldiers being killed by Indian forces was later confirmed by the Pakistani army. This was the day in 1949 that the then Lieutenant General Cariappa took over from Lt Gen Roy Butcher to become the first Indian the commander-in-chief of the Indian Army. "It has to be a politico-military approach that we have to adopt", Rawat added.
The retaliation comes after an Indian army man was killed in Pakistan firing along the LoC in Rajouri district last Saturday.
Just this morning, security forces foiled an infiltration bid near the Line of Control in Uri sector of Jammu and Kashmir, killing five Jaish-e-Mohammad militants. "Also, four others were wounded", they said. "Ceasefire violations by Pakistan happen frequently, to which we respond effectively".
According to Union home ministry data, in 2017, Pakistan violated the ceasefire 771 times along the LoC as opposed to 228 times in 2016, signalling a 230% jump.
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