Pakistan says one dead in latest Kashmir clash

ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Pakistan's military accused India on Wednesday of killing an army officer and seriously wounding a soldier in the latest clash across the disputed border in Kashmir.

Tensions have flared between the nuclear-armed neighbours in recent weeks over the Himalayan territory, which both control in part but claim in full.

Skirmishes have erupted across the heavily militarised Line of Control (LOC), the de facto border in Kashmir, since five Indian soldiers were killed earlier this month in an ambush which Delhi has blamed on the Pakistan army.

"A Pakistan Army officer Captain Sarfraz embraced shahadat (martyrdom) due to Indian troops' unprovoked shelling at Shakma sector on line of control," a Pakistani military statement said.

Another soldier was seriously wounded in the firing which began late on Tuesday evening, the statement said, adding that Pakistani troops had returned fire.

India's Defence Minister A. K. Antony said on Monday that the army would take "all possible steps" to counter ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the border.

Islamabad has denied its soldiers were involved in the ambush which triggered off the latest round of clashes. The incident was one of the deadliest for years targeting Indian troops in the disputed Muslim-majority region.

Kashmir has been the trigger for two of the three wars between the nations.

The renewed tensions have jeopardised plans for what the two governments hoped might be a breakthrough encounter between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of a UN meeting in New York next month.

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