Pakistani ambush kills five Indian soldiers

Jammu/Islamabad, Aug 6 (IANS) Five Indian soldiers were killed early Tuesday when Pakistani troops intruded into Jammu and Kashmir and ambushed an army patrol, police sources said. Pakistan denied the charge.

A sixth Indian soldier was injured in the 1 a.m. attack at Chakan-da-Bagh sector of the Line of Control (LoC), which divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

The site is located in Poonch district of Jammu region.

Highly-placed police sources told IANS that the Pakistani troops ambushed the six-member Indian patrol, killing a Junior Commissioned Officer and four soldiers.

The attack took place around 400 metres inside Indian territory.

"The injured jawan has been airlifted to Jammu for specialized treatment. The Pakistanis withdrew after the killings," a source said.

In January this year, two Indian soldiers were killed in Mendhar sector of LoC. One of the soldiers was beheaded while the body of the other was mutilated.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah expressed condolences to the families of the slain soldiers.

He said incidents like this give the lie to Pakistani assertions of its desire to make peace with India.

"My heartfelt condolences to their next of kin," he said.

"These incidents don't help efforts to normalise or even improve relations with Pakistan and call into question the Pakistan government's recent overtures."

In Islamabad, the Pakistani military denied killing Indian soldiers.

Pakistan officials said their forces were not involved in any firing at any Indian post, Xinhua reported.

"No such incident has taken place on the LoC," an official with the army's Inter-Services Public Relations said.

India and Pakistan have declared a ceasefire along the LoC since 2003.

Guns had been relatively silent since then, but troops sometimes exchange fire. Both sides routinely accuse each other of border violations.

The latest incident comes at a time when the new government in Pakistan is trying to normalize relations with India.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is scheduled to meet his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York in September.

Pakistan said last week it had proposed dates to India for resumption of the official dialogue and awaits Indian response.

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