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Bomb Kills 5 Pakistani Troops in Disputed Kashmir


Map of the Line of control, Kashmir

A rare bombing in the Pakistan-administered part of the disputed Kashmir region has killed at least five soldiers and injured another.

A military statement said the deadly blast occurred a few meters from the Line of Control (LoC) that separates Pakistani and Indian portions of the divided Himalayan territory.

It noted that authorities were in the process of ascertaining the nature of the blast.

“The incident is evident of state sponsored terrorism by India violating a bilateral cease-fire agreement and international rules,” the Pakistani army alleged in its statement. It did not elaborate further.

There was no immediate reaction from New Delhi to the allegations made by Islamabad.

Pakistani and Indian militaries routinely accuse each other of launching “unprovoked” cross-border attacks in violation of a 2002 mutual Kashmir cease-fire agreement. The skirmishes have killed scores of people on both sides, including civilians, almost rendering the cease-fire deal ineffective.

In February, the two rival countries came close to a war over a deadly suicide car bombing in Indian Kashmir that killed more than 40 security personnel.

New Delhi blamed a Pakistan-based militant group for plotting the attack. It carried out what it said were retaliatory airstrikes deep inside Pakistani territory on February 26 against alleged camps of the banned Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) group India accused of carrying out the February 14 bombing.

A day later Islamabad responded with its own strikes in Indian Kashmir and shot down an Indian aircraft in the ensuing aerial dogfight and captured its pilot before returning him to New Delhi two days later.

The clash reportedly provoked India to mobilize its nuclear-capable missiles for a large action against Pakistan, prompting Islamabad to take countermeasures to respond to any possible Indian attack.

Intervention by the U.S. and other major powers, however, brought the two countries back from the brink of what would have been a third war over Kashmir.

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