JAMMU, India (Reuters) - Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged sustained cross-border fire on Sunday, security officials said, a day after an Indian soldier was killed by Pakistani troops while patrolling one of the world’s most heavily guarded borders.
The two sides exchanged small arms fire for 30 minutes early on Sunday at a border post 30 km (18 miles) from Jammu, the winter capital of the disputed Kashmir region in north India.
“Pakistani soldiers opened unprovoked firing on our Umra Wali post,” said a spokesman for the paramilitary Indian Border Security Force. “We responded to their fire effectively.”
A Pakistani border security official confirmed the clash, but denied starting it. Three Pakistani paramilitary soldiers were wounded, he said.
An Indian soldier died in hospital late on Saturday from bullet wounds sustained after Pakistani soldiers opened fire on a routine patrol in the same area, the Indian side said.
He was the first Indian soldier killed by Pakistani troops in a year.
The two nuclear-armed rivals agreed a ceasefire in Kashmir in 2003 and while it has largely held, short exchanges of fire occur almost every month.
The neighbors have fought three wars since 1947, but have been making tentative moves to revive a sluggish peace process that was broken off by India after the 2008 militant assault on the city of Mumbai.
India says Pakistani-backed militants were responsible for the Mumbai attacks.
India accuses its neighbor of funding militant attacks in Kashmir, which both sides claim in full, and has looked to use the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan this month to ratchet up pressure on Pakistan to do more to tackle militancy.
Reporting by Ashok Pahalwan and Kamran Haider; Writing by Henry Foy; Editing by Daniel Magnowski