JAMMU, Jan 25: Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged small arms fire on Thursday after an alleged attempt by anti-India militants to cross heavily-guarded Line of Control in the disputed territory of Kashmir, an Indian army spokesman claimed.

“The (firing) has been going on for quite some time now between the two sides after an infiltration bid was foiled,” Lieutenant Colonel G.D. Goswami asserted.

He said one militant had been killed in the incident in the Poonch district, 250 km northwest of Jammu.

Security has been beefed up in Kashmir and other parts of India ahead of the Republic Day on Friday when India marks the day in 1950 it adopted its republican constitution with a military parade in New Delhi.

Militant groups in Jammu and Kashmir and guerrilla organisations in other states often carry out attacks on and around the holiday to highlight their causes.

An Indian security official said last week two Indian troops were wounded in shooting near the Line of Control in Kashmir.

The Pakistan military later said Indian troops had opened fire but denied any involvement of Pakistani border guards.

A truce came into effect in Nov 2003 as part of peace efforts between the two nuclear-armed rivals and violations have been rare.

Indian officials claim militants fighting New Delhi's rule in the Himalayan region are still trying to cross the border from Pakistani Kashmir but violence has dropped after the launch of the peace process.—Reuters

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