Indian soldier killed in firing from Pakistan, militants sneak in (Second Lead)

May 19th, 2008 - 5:36 pm ICT by admin  

Jammu, May 19 (IANS) On the eve of India-Pakistan talks, an Indian soldier was killed in firing from Pakistan across the Line of Control (LoC) in the Krishna Ghati sector of Jammu and Kashmir Monday morning - a second incident of its kind within a week. The gunfire in Poonch district, about 200 km north of Jammu, started around 7.15 a.m., killing Naik Yashwant Rai of the 2/8 Gorkha Rifles in the initial burst. The LoC is the effective border between India and Pakistan across much of Jammu and Kashmir.

Lt. Col. S.D. Goswami, defence spokesperson in Jammu, said: “There was unprovoked firing from Pakistan on an Indian Army post, in which one soldier of the 2/8 Gorkha Rifles was killed. He has been identified as Naik Yashwant Rai.”

“Rockets, UBGLs (under barrel grenade launchers) and small arms were used in the firing,” he added.

There were unconfirmed reports that at least six militants infiltrated into India under the covering fire from the Pakistani side.

Sources in the 2/8 Gorkha Rifles said two soldiers were killed in two similar incidents of firing in 2007.

An official of the Gorkha Rifles, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “We have instructions to play down such incidents.”

Mondays’ firing was the second major incident of firing across the LoC in less than a week. On May 13, Pakistani troops fired on Indian positions from across the LoC in the Tangdhar sector of the Kashmir valley.

That was the first time in four and a half years that the Indian Army charged the Pakistani Army of violating the ceasefire.

On May 8, a group of militants infiltrated into the Samba sector. Two days later, two of them killed six people including two soldiers before getting killed in a day-long gun battle.

The foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan are meeting in Islamabad Tuesday, followed by a meeting of the foreign ministers a day later, to take the bilateral peace process forward.

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