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India denies casualties in cross-border firing

IANS | New Delhi |

The Indian Army on Monday denied that any of its soldiers were hit in the cross-border exchange of fire that left at least four Pakistani soldiers dead.

Indian Army officials said there were no casualties on the Indian side, and added that the Pakistani soldiers were killed in a “effective counter to ceasefire violation” from across the border.

Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Monday four of their soldiers were killed in shelling from across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan-administered Kashmir’s Kotli sector, adding that in the exchange of fire three Indian soldiers had also been killed.

The ISPR also claimed that the troops were busy in Line communication maintenance when they were fired upon and hit by heavy mortar rounds.

The development comes as Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Monday said that India will scale up “action” if Islamabad continues supporting terror and infiltration of militants.

The latest incident of cross-border firing also comes days after the Indian Army Chief threatened to call Pakistan’s “nuclear bluff”, which the Pakistani leadership has criticised as reckless and irresponsible.

Meanwhile, a cross-LoC (Line of Control) bus service between Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir and Rawalakot in Pakistan-administered Kashmir was suspended on Monday due to security reasons, after Pakistan announced that four of their soldiers were killed.