SRINAGAR - An Indian army soldier has been killed and two others wounded in a skirmish near the heavily militarised de facto border with Pakistan in Indian Held Kashmir, a defence spokesman claimed Monday.
"A patrol of the army was targeted by mines and small arms fire by a group of unidentified armed personnel," a defence statement said, referring to the clash on Sunday night.
The incident took place in Akhnoor, 350 kilometres south of the main city of Srinagar, as hardline prime minister-elect Narendra Modi was busy giving shape to a new government in New Delhi.
The Indian army said it returned fire on the attackers Sunday night but the group fled back in the direction of a Pakistan army post, claimed the defence statement.
"Search of the area yielded Pakistan-made mines and other equipment, which suggests involvement of Pakistan and terrorists from across the Line of Control," the statement said.
Muslim-majority Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan by a heavily militarised de facto border known as the Line of Control (LoC) and the territory is claimed in full by both countries.
Modi has previously reacted sharply to clashes on the border and his top aide Amit Shah has said on several occasions that Pakistan army would not ‘dare’ cross the LoC with Modi as prime minister.
He is expected to be sworn in later this week.
About a dozen groups have been fighting Indian forces since 1989 for independence or merger of the Himalayan territory with Pakistan. The fighting has left tens of thousands, mostly civilians, dead.