Seven Pakistani soldiers were killed by the Indian army overnight across the border the neighbours share in the disputed Kashmir region, Pakistan's military said on Monday, 14 November. It is reported to be the latest in a series of shelling from the Indian side.

"Seven [Pakistani] soldiers embraced shahadat [martyrdom] at the Line of Control [LoC] in Bhimber sector in a crossfire LoC violation by Indian troops late last night," the Pakistan military's media wing, ISPR, said in a statement.

According to the Pakistan-based Dawn newspaper, the troops responded to 'unprovoked' Indian firing, and targeted Indian posts effectively. The LoC is a de facto border in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

According to NDTV, which called Pakistan's claim a "rare admission", the Pakistani government summoned India's High Commissioner Guatam Bambawale to lodge a formal complaint.

The broadcaster added that the Indian army used heavy artillery and anti-tank guided missiles to respond to unprovoked firing from the Pakistani army in the region.

Tensions across the border between the nuclear-armed rivals have been escalating in recent months. Both the countries have accused each other of violating the 2003 ceasefire agreement.

Last month, India claimed it killed 15 Pakistani troops over one week in multiple cross-border firing incidents. However, Pakistan is thought to have not been so vocal about confirming the shelling from the India side.

Monday's statement from Islamabad is reported to be the first time Pakistan has admitted to casualties on its side. Earlier, it dismissed India's claim that it had conducted "surgical" strikes on 29 September inside Pakistan-controlled-Kashmir killing several terrorists.

Dawn reported that Pakistan authorities lodged protests with India and UN military observers last week claiming the Indian army targeted civilians in the region. The newspaper added that Indian shelling resulted in the civilian death toll increasing to at least 26 in the past few weeks, while 107 others were injured.

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