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Jammu: A militant killed near the Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday while trying to infiltrate into India was identified as a Pakistani soldier, army officials said. The body was returned to the Pakistani side yesterday.
According to army sources yesterday, the killed militant had been identified as Mohammad Ikhlaq, a soldier of Pakistan’s 60 Punjab regiment.
An army spokesman here said that at around 3pm on Thursday, troops at Laam post in Rajouri sector, about 170km north of Jammu, “observed suspicious movement along the Indian side of LoC” and a patrol party challenged the infiltrator.
The infiltrator, however, “opened indiscriminate fire” injuring two soldiers. Fire was returned, killing the infiltrator. “One AK-56 rifle along with some other warlike stores was recovered. The body of the deceased was later handed over to the state police,” said the spokesman.
The spokesman said that last morning, Pakistan’s Director General of Military Operations made an unscheduled call to his Indian counterpart requesting that the soldier’s body be returned.
“Acceding to this request, the body was returned to Pakistan Army personnel in the same sector in the evening with military respects,” the spokesman said.
The Pakistani military condemned the killing, saying the soldier had become lost and crossed the LoC “inadvertently” and that civilians at the scene had seen him being questioned by the Indians.
“We condemn such an inhuman and brutal act of killing our soldier after he had identified himself and explained his position,” a spokesman said.
“This is not the first such event. We have returned Indian soldiers in the past, who had similarly strayed.”
Pakistan’s foreign ministry demanded an investigation into the incident.
It was the first fatal exchange between soldiers from the two armies since they agreed a ceasefire on January 16. A flare-up in January saw three Pakistani soldiers and two from India killed.
IANS & AFP