Pakistan protests to India over ceasefire violations

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (AFP) - Pakistan lodged a "strong protest" over Indian violations of a 10-year ceasefire at talks on Monday with Indian military officers on the border that divides Kashmir between the nuclear-armed powers.

"During the flag meeting, Pakistan strongly rejected the Indian allegations that Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked fire, attacked any Indian post or killed Indian soldiers," the military said.

It said Pakistan "strongly protested" about "continuous" Indian violations of the 2003 ceasefire, including the killing of two Pakistani soldiers last week.

An Indian army spokesman confirmed that officers from both sides held talks along the Line of Control, in which India also lodged its protest with Pakistan.

The foreign ministers of both sides have warned against escalating tensions, but India's army chief of staff on Monday reiterated a sense of outrage within Indian ranks over the killing of two soldiers on January 8, one of whom was beheaded.

"We expect our commanders to be aggressive," General Bikram Singh said.

Kashmir, a Muslim-majority territory, is divided into Indian and Pakistani-administered sectors but is claimed in full by both sides. It has been the cause of two wars between India and Pakistan since independence from Britain in 1947.

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