India Calls Alleged Pakistani Attack “Ghastly;” Promises Response

Posted January 9th, 2013 at 1:05 am (UTC-5)
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India's foreign affairs minister has called an alleged attack on Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops “ghastly” and says officials will decide on a response later on Wednesday.

Speaking on Indian television, Salman Khurshid promised late Tuesday that Indian government and military officials would work together to decide on a course of action. He said the incident, in which India says Pakistani troops shot dead two Indian soldiers near the countries' disputed border in Kashmir, was “unacceptable.”

The incident happened two days after Pakistan said one of its soldiers was killed in the area.

India's military says its soldiers were on patrol Tuesday near the town of Mendhar when Pakistani troops crossed into Indian-controlled Kashmir. They say the Pakistani forces retreated after a gunbattle.

An Indian military official says a body of one of the soldiers was later found mutilated in Kashmir.

India's Defense Ministry called the attack a “provocative action” and urged Pakistan to honor a ceasefire agreement. A statement said Pakistani and Indian military officials have been in touch regarding the incident.

Pakistan's military denied its forces carried out an unprovoked attack, saying the Indian allegations are “propaganda to divert attention of the world from Sunday's raid on a Pakistani post by Indian troops, in which a Pakistani soldier was killed.”

That incident also left two Pakistani soldiers wounded.

On Sunday, Pakistan said Indian troops crossed the disputed border known as the “Line of Control” and raided a Pakistani military outpost. They said Indian forces withdrew after an exchange of gunfire.

Pakistan protested the Indian attack.

India officials dismissed the Pakistani claims as baseless, saying their troops returned fire from across the border.

India and Pakistan have accused each other of several violations of a 2003 ceasefire in Kashmir, a region they both claim.

The nuclear-armed neighbors have fought two wars over Kashmir since gaining independence from Britain in 1947.