ISLAMABAD, Jan 6: A Pakistani soldier was killed and another injured in a gunfight between Indian and Pakistani troops in Kashmir on Sunday, an incident that could heighten tensions between the neighbours.

The Pakistani military said Indian troops had crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and raided their Sawan Patra checkpost in Kashmir.

A statement by a spokesman for the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said the Indian troops crossed the LoC in the Haji Pir sector and physically raided the post.

“Pakistan Army troops effectively responded to the attack successfully,” the statement said. Two Pakistani soldiers were critically injured in the attack, one of whom later embraced martyrdom.

The statement identified the deceased as Naik Aslam. The Indian troops retreated, leaving behind a gun and a dagger, it said.

The two sides then exchanged fire across the LoC, added the statement.

Indian army spokesman Col Jagadish Dahiya claimed that Indian troops had not crossed the LoC. “However, there was a ceasefire violation by Pakistan. Our troops retaliated by firing,” he alleged.

An Indian army spokesman in Indian-held Srinagar, Col Brijesh Pandey, accused the Pakistani military of firing mortar bombs into a village in the Uri district, which faces Haji Pir.

“At 3.15am today Pakistani troops resorted to heavy mortar firing, targeting a village in Uri sector,” he said. “We retaliated with small arms and the exchange continued for over an hour.”

Another spokesman for the Indian army said its post at Churuda came under “unprovoked” heavy mortar and automatic gun fire for about five hours early on Sunday.

“We did retaliate,” Col Rajesh Kalia said.

The neighbours have observed a ceasefire in Kashmir since November 2003, but there have been occasional clashes and accusations of truce violations from both sides. —Agencies

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