MUZAFFARABAD - The Pakistan Army is investigating the alleged torture of a youth that led to his death last week in Azad Kashmir, an official said on Thursday.

Mohammed Ali Murtaza's family have accused the army of torture and claim the 26-year-old died while in its custody after going missing on 17 February near the de-facto border between Pakistan and India in the divided Kashmir region.

Army has launched an inquiry to investigate the death but a senior military official, who requested anonymity, denied any army involvement in the incident.

"Murtaza went missing when he left his home in Kotli city to see his cousin in a village of Khoi Ratta sector at the Line of Control (LoC) with India," Muhammad Amjad Chaudhry, a relative, told AFP. "Later on February 19, when we went to register a report, the administration chief handed over his body to us. Locals at the LoC told us that the army captured him from their village," he said.

Another relative, Chaudhry Mehboob, said that Murtaza died while in custody. "He died in the custody of army, he was tortured," Mehboob told AFP. However a senior military official rejected the allegations and said an investigation had been launched.

"An inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the facts. Some doubts were raised by the local people regarding this incident, so we are conducting a probe to clear that doubt," said a senior official on condition of anonymity.

Last week Murtaza's relatives led protests against his death, calling for an official inquiry. On February 15, Indian troops shot dead a Pakistani soldier along the LoC in the first deadly exchange since a truce was agreed a month ago. A flare-up along the LoC in early January saw many soldiers killed.