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Indian gunfire kills Pakistani soldier on Kashmir line

Indian gunfire has killed a Pakistani soldier in Kashmir. The violence comes as India's prime minister promised no "business as usual" after two Indian soldiers were killed in the disputed territory last week.

The soldier was killed as troops from both sides exchanged gunfire across the line for more than two hours on Tuesday night. Since January 1, each army has lost soldiers in fighting along parts of the 740-km (460-mile) de facto border. The decapitation of one of two Indian soldiers last week provoked outrage and demands of retribution.

Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid said the flare-up will affect ties on the border.

"Such actions by the Pakistan army which are in contravention of all norms of international conduct not only constitute a grave provocation but lead us to draw appropriate conclusions about Pakistan's seriousness in pursuing normalization of relations with India," Khurshid said.

Pakistan has dismissed the allegations as propaganda and accused India of violating the nine-year ceasefire in Kashmir, which has caused two wars between the neighbors. The countries have tried to revive a peace process frozen since the 2008 Mumbai attacks by a Pakistan-based terrorist group.

Speaking to reporters at a ceremony to mark India's Army Day, and hours ahead of the night's violence, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called the January 8 killings a "barbaric act."

India's army chief, General Bikram Singh, also said the country reserves the right to retaliate, and he has instructed ground commanders to respond aggressively to provocation.

mkg/dr (AFP, Reuters, dpa, AP)
dw.de/news