India says troops cross Kashmir border to attack as crisis escalates

Elite troops have launched “surgical strikes” on Pakistan-based terrorists in the contested territory of Kashmir, India said on Thursday, in a major escalation of a deepening crisis between the nuclear-armed rivals.The Indian army said troops conducted multiple nighttime raids across the line of control (LOC), the ceasefire line agreed in 1972 that divides the Himalayan region, to attack militants preparing to cross into Indian-controlled territory.Pakistan said two of its soldiers had been killed in exchanges of fire, but denied India had made any targeted strikes. Pakistan later captured an Indian soldier on its side of the border, military officials from both countries said. An Indian army spokesman said the soldier had inadvertently crossed the frontier and had nothing to do with the earlier raids.It is the first time the Indian army has publicly acknowledged that its troops have launched raids across the LOC. Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, India’s director general of military operations, said there were “significant casualties … to terrorists and those trying to shield them”.Pakistan dismissed the Indian account as a lie. The army said two soldiers had been killed and nine injured in cross-border shelling. “The notion of a surgical strike linked to alleged terrorists’ bases is an illusion being deliberately generated by India to create false effects.” Pakistani troops had responded to unprovoked firing from India, it said.


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