Indian army major, soldier killed in LoC fire exchange

The casualties took place when Pakistani troops opened fire at the Indian Army patrol in Keri sector

The casualties took place when Pakistani troops opened fire at the Indian Army patrol in Keri sector

Four soldiers including an Army Major on Saturday were killed when Indian and Pakistani armies exchanged fire on Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir. The fourth soldier had not been named till evening.

Defence spokesperson colonel NN Joshi described the firing as a ceasefire violation by the neighbouring country. "The Indian Army has retaliated strongly and effectively on the Pakistan Army posts". Major Ambadas, 32, belonged to District Bhandara, Maharashtra and is survived by his wife Avoli Moharkar, he said.

Army chief General Bipin Rawat recently held that peace talks with Pakistan could take place only when it stopped supporting terrorists in Jammu & Kashmir.

Intelligence sources said the cross-border firing was preceded by an IED blast and militants firing on an Indian patrol.

The soldiers belonged to the 120-Infantry Brigade Batallion, and were on patrol when the incident took place.

He said two other injured soldiers are undergoing treatment at the hospital.

The statement said that the dead included an army officer.

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India shares a 3,323 km long border with Pakistan, of which 221 km of the IB and 740 km of the LoC fall in Jammu and Kashmir.

Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan claim the divided Kashmir region in its entirety and have fought two wars over it.

The skirmishes have led to killings of soldiers as well as civilians.

Defence sources, however, said four Army personnel were killed in the "unprovoked" firing.

He said the chief minister had conveyed her heartfelt condolences to the families of the slain soldiers.

At least 61 security personnel including 58 army men and 79 civilians have been injured in the border ceasefire violations by the Pakistani troops.

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