- (AFP) - At least 10 Pakistani soldiers were killed in
cross-border firing in Kashmir, an Indian army spokesman said.
Major R. Lal said the firing took place in the border area of Poonch, 240
kilometres (150 miles) northwest of Jammu, Kashmir's winter capital.
He said the firing began when Pakistan began shelling Indian posts.
"We retaliated with heavy machine gun fire and mortar shelling,"
"We could see dozens of Pakistani bunkers go up in flames as there
were several direct hits on them."
Ten soldiers were killed in the retaliatory action, he said.
It was not immediately known if there had been any Indian casualties.
The firing came as India army chief General S. Padmanabhan warned there
was "scope for a limited conventional war" between India and
"When two countries mobilize their forces and place them on the border,
it is not normal. The situation can comfortably be described as serious,"
he told a press conference in New Delhi.
"To say that there is scope for a limited conventional war is a truism.
Yes it is there, but it all depends on the circumstances," he said.
Padmanabhan also said that if Islamabad dared to unleash nuclear arms,
India was prepared to hit back with its own arsenal.
India and Pakistan have massed thousands of troops along their border in
Kashmir and elsewhere in a tense military stand off which was triggered
by an attack on the Indian parliament on December 13.
Meanwhile, five gunmen who carried out an attack on India's parliament
were buried Friday after a deadline set by India for Pakistan to claim
their bodies expired.
India had given Pakistan until Thursday to collect the bodies of the gunmen
whom it claims are Pakistani nationals and belong to Pakistan-based militant
groups Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lasher-e-Taiba.
Delhi police handed over the bodies to the Waqf Board, a body which performs
the last rites for unclaimed Muslim bodies.
Pakistan has denied that the attackers were Pakistani nationals.
The attack has triggered huge tensions between the two countries, with
New Delhi demanding that Islamabad crack down on militant groups which
it says carry out "terrorist" acts in India.
Both sides have massed troops along their shared border causing a tense
In Riyadh, an envoy of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf arrived Friday
for talks with Saudi leaders on tensions with neighboring India, an embassy
Minister of Communications and Railways Javaid Ashraf will hand messages
from Musharraf to King Fahd and Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz explaining
Islamabad's position on the crisis with India, the spokesman told AFP.
During his three-day visit, Ashraf will also meet other senior Saudi officials
to discuss other topics, including Pakistan's recent announcement that
it had arrested 240 Saudis who crossed from Afghanistan following the defeat
of the Taliban.
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