By Mubasher Bukhari
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A Pakistani soldier was killed and another injured in a gunfight between Indian and Pakistani troops in Kashmir on Sunday, a disputed incident that could heighten tensions between the nuclear neighbors after a period of rapprochement.
The Pakistani army said Indian troops had raided their Sawan Patra checkpost in Kashmir, a hotly contested area both countries claim as their own. The Indian military denied its soldiers had attacked a Pakistani position.
"Pakistan army troops effectively responded and repulsed the attack," a Pakistani army spokesman said in a statement.
The two sides then exchanged fire across the Line of Control, an internationally recognized line in Kashmir patrolled by troops from both countries, he said.
Indian army spokesman Colonel Jagadish Dahiya said Indian troops had not crossed the Line of Control. "However, there was a ceasefire violation by Pakistan. Our troops retaliated by firing," Dahiya said.
"None of our troops crossed the Line of Control. We have no casualties or injuries."
Another spokesman for the Indian army said its post at Churuda, 100 km (62 miles) northwest of major city Srinagar, came under "unprovoked" heavy mortar and automatic gun fire for about five hours early on Sunday.
"We did retaliate," Colonel Rajesh Kalia said.
There were more than 75 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control in 2012, killing eight people. Most of the violations were exchanges of fire between the two sides.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars since 1947, when they became independent from Britain. The two countries share many similarities in language and culture, though most of Pakistan's citizens are Muslim and most of India's Hindu.
Kashmir, and the human rights abuses committed there by Indian troops, is a politically explosive issue in Pakistan. Pakistani security forces have long trained militant groups to attack Indian soldiers.
The two countries fought their most recent war in 1999, when Pakistani troops crossed the Line of Control and occupied Indian territory in Kargil, but were forced to withdraw. Continued...