By Aamir Latif
Four Pakistani soldiers are believed to have been killed when their vehicle fell into a river along the de facto border region of Kashmir after Indian forces allegedly hit it, according to Pakistan army on Sunday.
Pakistani army's media wing, Inter Services Public Relations, said Indian troops allegedly targeted a Pakistani military vehicle along the Line of Control -- a region that divides the disputed Kashmir valley between India and Pakistan -- at Athmaqam sector.
As a result, the vehicle carrying four soldiers fell into Neelam River, it said. The body of one soldier has been recovered while search for remaining three remains underway, the media wing said, adding the Pakistani side responded to the alleged Indian cease-fire violation.
Tensions between the two nuclear neighbors has failed to ease after 19 Indian soldiers were killed in Indian-held Kashmir last month by militants India claimed had links with Pakistan. Islamabad denies the charge and itself accuses New Delhi of trying to divert the world’s attention from atrocities in the held valley.
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- since they were partitioned in 1947, two of which were fought over Kashmir. Kashmiri resistance groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
More than 70,000 people have reportedly been killed in the conflict since 1989. India maintains more than half a million troops in the disputed region.