Srinagar/Islamabad: An Indian JCO and three Pakistani soldiers were killed in first major violation of ceasefire in Kashmir valley this year, when troops from the two sides traded heavy gunfire, officials said.
The violation took place in the key Keran sector in north Kashmir, which is the major ingress route of the militants from across the border and comes on the heels of another big infiltration bid from the adjacent Gurez sector.
While the first exchange of fire took place at 2000 hours on Wednesday, the second ceasefire violation took place at 1100 hours on Thursday.
"There were two ceasefire violations in Keran sector of Kupwara district from across the Line of Control since 2000 hours Wednesday," Defence spokesman Lt Colonel JS Brar said adding that heavy mortars and machine guns were used.
The JCO, who was killed, was identified by the army as Naib Subedar Gurdayal Singh.
Pakistan Army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told Geo News in Islamabad that three Pakistani soldiers were killed in the gun battle. He claimed that Indian forces had fired across the border "unprovoked".
He identified the soldiers as belonging to irregular Mujahid battalion.
Abbas said the soldiers had been moving between forward posts when they got lost in bad weather in the Neelam valley.
He said a meeting has been requested with local Indian commanders to investigate the violation.
Reacting to Pakistan army's claim, Brar said there was no ceasefire violation from Indian side.
"There was an infiltration bid by militants in Keran sector which was foiled by our troops. We lost one JCO in the operation," Brar said.