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Rangers' official killed by Indian firing near Sialkot

Updated October 17, 2013

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— File photo
— File photo

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan accused India of killing a paramilitary soldier in “unprovoked firing” across the border in eastern Punjab province Thursday.

A Pakistani military official said a member of the paramilitary Rangers was killed “due to unprovoked firing by Indian Border Security forces” near the eastern city of Sialkot.

The incident comes just weeks after the prime ministers of the two countries pledged to restore calm along the Line of Control (LoC), the heavily militarised de facto border in Kashmir, at a meeting in New York.

A deadly flare-up along the LoC in January stalled peace talks which had only just resumed following a three-year hiatus sparked by the 2008 attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people.

Fresh violence erupted on the LoC after five Indian soldiers were killed in a raid in August.

Delhi blamed that ambush on the Pakistan army, but Islamabad denied the claims and has repeatedly called for restraint and dialogue.

Pakistani border posts near Sialkot came under Indian fire in August, but no casualties were reported.

A spate of cross-border skirmishes this year have raised tensions between India and Pakistan, who have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947.

The violence has been focused on Muslim-majority Kashmir, the divided Himalayan territory claimed in full by both India and Pakistan, which has witnessed some of the worst clashes between the two sides in a decade.