5 Indian soldiers dead after Kashmir attack

Aug. 6, 2013 at 8:16 AM

POONCH, India, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Five Indian soldiers died and one was injured after an attack by suspected Islamic militants backed by Pakistani soldiers, Indian government officials said.

The 15 to 20 members of the Lashkar-e-Toiba group and Pakistani soldiers allegedly ambushed the Indian soldiers Monday after crossing the line of control in the Poonch area of Jammu and Kashmir, India's NDTV reported Tuesday.

"The attack was carried out by 20 heavily armed terrorists in [Pakistani] army uniform," Indian Defense Minister MK Antony said. "India has lodged a strong protest with Pakistan through diplomatic channels."

The Lashkar-e-Toiba, which India deems a terrorist group, took advantage of poor weather conditions to sneak across the line of control, Ponch Senior Superintendent of Police Shamsher Hussain told India's TNN.

Monday's attack marks the 33rd time Pakistan has violated the cease-fire between the two countries this year, TNN reported. In January, Pakistani soldiers allegedly killed two Indian soldiers, decapitating one of them.

"The Indian nation cannot be cowed down by such blatant acts of deceit," said the president of Congress and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who added the government should "take appropriate measures."

"We strongly deny India's allegations," Pakistan Army sources told NDTV.

The prime ministers of India and Pakistan are expected to hold peace talks in September while in New York for a U.N. conference, TNN said.

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