SRINAGAR (India) • An Indian soldier was killed by Pakistani forces on the Kashmir border, the Indian military said yesterday, as the authorities intensified patrols in Kashmir's main city Srinagar.
The nuclear-armed neighbours regularly target each other with mortar shells and gunfire at the de facto border known as the Line of Control in the disputed Himalayan territory which is claimed by both India and Pakistan.
The latest skirmish comes as ties hit a new low after India revoked the autonomy of the part of the region it controls, sparking protests from the local population and outrage from Pakistan.
The Indian soldier was manning a post in a mountainous Rajouri district yesterday when he came under "unprovoked fire" from across the border, local media reported.
A New Delhi-based Indian Army spokesman confirmed the incident to Agence France-Presse.
The death was the fourth claimed by the Indian side following the Aug 5 decision to strip the region's special constitutional status.
Pakistan's military has said five people, including three soldiers, have died in shelling by Indian forces.
Posters have sprung up across the Muslim-majority region, calling for a public march to a United Nations office to protest against New Delhi's tightened grip on the contested region.
"Preachers in all mosques should make the people aware of India's plans to change the demography of the state (Jammu and Kashmir)," handbills written in Urdu said.
Indian police and paramilitary soldiers reimposed restrictions on traffic in areas where they had been eased, putting steel barricades back up and laying razor wire across roads, bridges and intersections.
The near-total communications blackout has prompted a group of UN human rights experts to warn that the move amounted to "collective punishment" and risked exacerbating regional tensions.