Five Indian soldiers killed along border with Pakistan, says India

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Originally published on August 6, 2013

India's army says five of its soldiers were shot dead in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, according to a Reuters report.

India accuses Pakistan of instigating the attack, which took place around 2 am, and happened along the country's disputed border with Pakistan in Kashmir.

According to Indian army officials, a group of elite Pakistani commandos breached the contested Line of Control border.

The Pakistani troops allegedly then ambushed Indian soldiers in a mountainous outpost in the Poonch area, roughly 450 metres from the Line of Control.

Pakistani officials strongly denied responsibility for the five deaths and even disputed their very occurrence.

A Pakistani security official speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity claimed "There has been no incident whatsoever".

Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah, tweeted, "(I) was briefed early this morning about news that five of our soldiers had been killed on the LOC. My heartfelt condolences to their next of kin." Adding, "These incidents don't help efforts to normalise or even improve relations with Pak and call into question the Pak Govt's recent overtures."

The killings caused outrage in India's parliament on Tuesday as lawmakers demanded a strong response from the government. India's Defence Minister is scheduled to make a statement in front of parliament later today.

The incident is not unprecedented as both sides have occasionally blamed one another for cross-border fire. It follows similar hostile exchanges in January, which saw the deaths of three Pakistani and two Indian soldiers and led to India cancelling planned peace talks with its neighbor.

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