India on Sunday claimed that nine Pakistani soldiers were killed in exchange of fire and shelling between Indian and Pakistani border troops along the Line of Control and International Border in Kashmir since Saturday.
Pakistani troops first resorted to heavy firing and mortar shelling targeting Indian positions in several areas along the Line of Control and the border, injuring 11 Indian soldiers, the Press Trust of India (PTI) quoted official sources as saying.
In the retaliatory action taken by the Indian troops, nine Pakistani soldiers were killed and five of their bunkers were also damaged, the sources added.
The exchange of fire and shelling was still on intermittently when last reports were received from the area, the PTI said.
Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who is visiting north India's Himachal Pradesh state, reportedly hinted on Sunday that there would be no scaling down of India's military build-up along the borders with Pakistan.
India "cannot take any chances" when there is no indication that Pakistan is interested in peace, Vajpayee was quoted as saying at a public rally by the PTI.
The military mobilization of the two subcontinental neighbors, which escalated rapidly following last year's terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament in December, had reportedly involved nearly one million troops.
Pakistan has on many occasions called for talks with India to defuse the current tension, but New Delhi insists that Islamabad fulfill its five demands first, which include the handover of 20 persons on Pakistani soil wanted by India as "terrorists and criminals".
(People's Daily March 25, 2002)