Five Indian soldiers and three Pakistani troops were killed in an exchange of gunfire across the de facto border of the disputed Kashmir region, the Pakistani Army claimed in a statement.
The chief spokesman, Major General Asif Ghafoor, said in a tweet that the Indian troops had “increased fire” along the LOC, and reported casualties on both sides.
“3 Pakistani soldiers embraced shahadat. Pakistan Army responded effectively. 5 Indian soldiers killed, many injured, bunkers damaged,” according to Ghafoor.
New Delhi for its part brushed off the reports as false.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a nationwide address on Thursday that the revocation of Kashmir’s special status was necessary to protect vulnerable minorities from injustice, and vowed to return the region to its “past glory”.
The reported clashes come at a time of soaring tensions between the two nuclear-armed rivals. The latest spike came after New Delhi’s recent decision to revoke the special status for its part of contested Kashmir region. Both India and Pakistan maintain territorial claims on the area, and have fought two major wars over it.__RT.com