An Indian army soldier stands guard as villagers cross a gate that leads to the Line of Control (LOC), the line that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan, in Churunda village, about 150 Kilometers (94 miles) northwest of Srinagar, India, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. – AP Photo

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's military said Wednesday that “unprovoked” firing by Indian troops had killed one of its soldiers across their tense border in disputed Kashmir.

The Pakistani army said in a statement that one of its soldiers had “embraced martyrdom due to unprovoked Indian firing” at the Line of Control (LoC).

“Indian troops again resorted to ceasefire violation and carried out unprovoked firing this evening at LoC in Hot Spring and Jandrot sectors from 2200 (1700 GMT) to 2300 hours (1800 GMT),” the statement said.

“Resultantly Naik Ashraf embraced Shahadat (martyrdom) at Kundi Post due to unprovoked Indian firing. Naik Ashraf is survived by a wife and 3 daughters,” the statement added.

A local administration official in Pakistani Kashmir's Hajira district, close to the border where the soldier died, said that Indian troops were firing at mountain villages.

“Indian troops are firing at Pakistani villages intermittently,” Sardar Mushtaq, the local government official, told AFP.

“We do not immediately know about the casualties because of communication difficulties in a mountainous region at night,” Mushtaq said.

He said that two civilians had been wounded in cross-border shelling this week and that Indian troops had fired at a Pakistani boat late Tuesday.

While foreign ministers on both sides have warned against escalating tensions, Indian army chief General Bikram Singh has reiterated the sense of outrage within the Indian army's ranks over the killing of two soldiers on January 8, one of whom was beheaded.

Pakistan denies its troops were to blame for any such incident. It says two of its soldiers were killed by Indian firing in the last 10 days along the Line of Control, a de facto border where a ceasefire has been in place since 2003.


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