India

India 'bombs Pakistan army posts' in Kashmir

File photo of an Indian soldier looks towards the site of a gunbattle between troops and rebels inside an army brigade headquarters near the Line of Control (LoC) Image copyright AFP
Image caption India and Pakistan have disputed the Himalayan territory since independence in 1947

India's army says it bombed Pakistani army posts along the de facto border dividing the two countries in Kashmir.

Army spokesman Ashok Narula said the action had been taken to stop Pakistan's army from helping militants cross into Indian-administered Kashmir.

He told reporters that bringing down the number of militants in Kashmir would discourage local youths from taking up arms.

Pakistan denied any of its posts had been destroyed.

The Indian army spokesman did not specify when the Pakistani posts were targeted but said it was "recent, very recent".

Army footage purported to show the destruction of a Pakistani army post in the Nowshera sector, near the Line of Control (LoC) dividing the disputed territory.

Pakistan's army spokesman responded swiftly, rejecting India's account.

"The Indian claims of destroying Pakistani post along LoC in Nowshera Sec and firing by Pak Army on civilians across LoC are false," Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said.

The Indian claims come amid deteriorating relations between the two countries over Kashmir and other issues.

Indian-administered Kashmir has seen an upsurge of violence over the last few months. India blames Pakistan for inciting the unrest, a claim Islamabad denies.

Disputed Kashmir is claimed by both countries in its entirety.

India's Hindu nationalist BJP government has adopted a more assertive stance towards Pakistan since taking power three years ago. Both sides accuse each other of provocations.

On Monday, an Indian army officer who tied a local man to a jeep to stop protesters throwing stones at his convoy was given a commendation.

The army said the award was not linked to the incident, but the move is likely to anger many Kashmiris and Pakistanis.

Earlier, India's army chief said that civilians who had "helped" militants during gun battles or thrown stones at armed forces would be treated as terrorists.

This is not the first time that India has announced military action against Pakistan.

It said it had carried out "surgical strikes" along Kashmir's de facto border last September, a claim dismissed by Pakistan.

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