Five Indian soldiers were killed during a cross-border exchange of fire as Pakistani troops responded to an ‘unprovoked’ ceasefire violation in the Tatta Pani sector along the Line of Control (LoC) on Saturday, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a press release.
Indian bunkers were also destroyed in the firing, ISPR said, adding that Pakistani troops “violently responded”. A video released by ISPR on Twitter early Sunday purported to show the Army’s strike on Indian outposts.
Saturday’s episode marks the second incident of cross-border firing during the week. On Thursday, two individuals were killed and six others injured when Indian troops resorted to unprovoked firing along the LoC.
Incidents of cross-border firing have become a norm since the last months of 2016 as tensions simmer between Pakistan and India over the Kashmir issue. Exchanges of fire have been reported sporadically since the New Year began.
Following the Uri army base attack in September, Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, stepped up a drive to ‘isolate’ Pakistan diplomatically.
In the days following the attack, India claimed to have conducted a cross-border ‘surgical strike’ against ‘launch pads of terror’ in Azad Jammu and Kashmir — a claim Pakistan strongly rejected.
Pakistan maintains that India has been attempting to divert the world’s attention away from atrocities committed by government forces in India-held Kashmir.
Tensions between the two countries soared recently as India approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to secure consular access for Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Field General Court Martial (FGCM) in Pakistan over his involvement in espionage and terrorism.
In a hearing of the case on May 18, a 10-member bench at The Hague restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav, who India claims is a retired naval officer.