Two Indian soldiers killed in Kashmir border skirmish -Indian army

Last Updated: Tue, Jan 08, 2013 13:10 hrs

JAMMU, India, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Two Indian soldiers were killed on Tuesday in a gunfight with unidentified gunmen near the Line of Control (LoC) that divides the contested Himalayan region of Kashmir between India and Pakistan, an Indian military official said.

The official said troops were on a regular patrol near Mendhar, 220 km (140 miles) north of the Indian city of Jammu when they saw some "suspicious movement half a kilometre inside our territory".

"Our troops challenged them to surrender but they were fired upon," said Rajesh K. Kalia, spokesman for the Indian army's Northern Command.

The incident came two days after a clash along the LoC in which Pakistan said one of its soldiers was killed when Indian troops crossed the highly militarised line between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

Firing and small skirmishes between the two countries are common along the LoC, despite slowly improving ties in recent years. The Indian army says eight of its soldiers were killed in 2012, in 75 incidents.

(Reporting By Frank Jack Daniel, editing by Ross Colvin)

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