Pak soldier shot on LoC, Islamabad protests

ARMY

In the first major incident on the Line of Control after last month's exchanges led to tension, the Indian Army shot dead a Pakistani soldier who had crossed over into Nowshera sector Thursday afternoon. The body of the soldier was handed over to Pakistan Friday evening .

The Indian Army said it detected the soldier in its sector, and that he had opened fire after being challenged by a patrol party, injuring two soldiers. "In the ensuing encounter the infiltrator was killed and one AK-56 rifle along with some other war-like stores recovered," the Army said.

Pakistan condemned the incident, adding that it had the potential "to further vitiate the atmosphere".

The dead soldier's identity was ironically revealed by a call by the Pakistani director general of military operations on Friday, requesting return of their soldier's body. The Army had till then presumed the infiltrator to be a militant.

The killing "goes against the understanding reached between Pakistan and India on speedy return of inadvertent line crossers", Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman Moazzam Khan said, adding the Pakistani soldier had "lost his way".

Sources identified the dead soldier as Mohammad Ikhlaq of 652 Mujahideen, Bhimber Brigade, Azad Kashmir Division.

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