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Three Pakistan soldiers killed in Kashmir

Pakistan’s military has reported three soldiers were killed by Indian forces in the Rawalakot area of Pakistani-controlled Kashmir.

In a statement, Pakistan's military said they had responded to an Indian mortar attack on its positions at the border town Rakhchakri. Indian officials have not responded to the initial reports.

This follows escalating tensions between the nuclear-powered nations which were sparked by a suicide attack in Pulwama in the Indian-controlled region of Kashmir killing at least 40 Indian security officials. 

The attack was conducted by a militant organisation known as Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) which is based in Pakistan. Indian officials have released a dossier alleging links between the government and JeM. Pakistan’s foreign office has responded to the accusations stating they had investigated the leads provided in the dossier and found "no link" to Pakistan.

A statement released by the Pakistan foreign office reads:

"While 54 detained individuals are being investigated, no details linking them to Pulwama have been found so far. Similarly, the 22 pin locations shared by India have been examined. No such camps exist”. 

Pakistan has faced increased international pressure to deal with militant organisations based operating in Kashmir such as JeM and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). 

According to Al Jazzera, in response to the Pulwama attack, Pakistan officials said they were renewing its crackdown on these arms groups, sealing dozens of mosques and schools run by JeM and LeT and taking steps to implement UN-mandated assets freezes on those groups.

In 2003 there was a temporary ceasefire at the Line of Control (LoC) but both sides have violated this agreement. 

Since the Pulwama attack, there has been constant shelling across the Line of Control (LoC) from both sides.

Pakistan's military reported an increase in Indian shelling resulting in the deaths of at least 55 people, mostly civilians, and wounding over 300 in 2018. 

Indian officials have similarly claimed, Pakistan’s shelling has killed at least 14 security personnel during 2018. 

Read more here and here.