7 Pakistani soldiers killed in alleged shelling by Indian Army: Pakistan

Pakistan on Monday claimed that seven of its army personnel were killed in an alleged ceasefire violation by Indian troops along the Line of Control in Bhimber sector, late last night. If true, this would be the first time Pakistan has admitted to casualties on its side, weeks after the Indian Army conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed grief over the loss of lives in the “latest violation of Line of Control (LoC) by the Indian forces” and said “it is extremely unfortunate that Indian forces have continuously violated ceasefire agreement at the LoC in the recent days”, Press Information Department Pakistan said. “We are fully capable of defending our soil against any aggression,” it quoted Sharif as saying.

The Prime Minister also claimed that the Indian forces have resorted to escalating tension on the LoC only to “uselessly divert” the world’s attention from the “grave human rights situation” in Kashmir.

Nafees Zakaria, Spokesperson for Pak’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, condemned the alleged firing from Indian side of the border. “We strongly condemn continuous unprovoked #CFVbyIndia @Bhimber Sec, resulting in martyrdom of 7 Pakistani soldiers,” he tweeted. He added that the Pakistan army has been responding in a “befitting manner”. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s foreign ministry summoned Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale over the alleged killings of the seven Pakistan soldiers.

In October, Pakistan denied that seven Pakistani rangers were killed in BSF shelling and small arms fire near the International Border. In the aftermath of the surgical strikes, Pakistan had repeatedly violated ceasefire, resorting to unprovoked firing at BSF forward posts in Kashmir. More than 10 Indian jawans were martyred during the Pakistani aggression. Civilians casualties on the Indian side of the border were also high in villages bordering Pakistan.

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