Friday, Jul 01, 2016
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Indian army officer killed in firing across cease-fire line in Kashmir

SRINAGAR, India — India's army said one of its officers was killed today in an unprovoked firing from across the cease-fire line with Pakistan in disputed Kashmir.

S.N. Acharya, an army spokesman, said it was not yet known whether the firing was from Pakistani troops or Kashmiri insurgents trying to infiltrate into Indian-held territory.

The attackers used small arms and fired grenades that damaged an Indian army bunker and killed the officer, Acharya said.

The Pakistani military denied responsibility, saying in a statement that none of its troops had fired across the cease-fire line on Indian positions.

The firing took place in Poonch sector, about 180 kilometers (110 miles) southwest of Srinagar, the summer capital of the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan. Both claim it in entirety and have fought two wars over the region since 1947.

The longtime rivals signed a 2003 cease-fire accord that has mostly held. Each side occasionally accuses the other of violating it by firing mortars or gunshots across the "Line of Control" dividing Kashmir between them.

India accuses Pakistan of arming and training Kashmiri insurgents who have been fighting since 1989 for Kashmir's independence or merger with Pakistan, a charge Islamabad denies. More than 68,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the fighting.

Although the rebellion has largely been suppressed by Indian troops in recent years, public resentment against Indian rule remains deep and the resistance is now principally expressed through street protests.

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