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    A Pakistan army soldier stands guard at hilltop post at a forward area on the Line of Control (LOC), that divides Kashmir between Pakistan and India. (File)

    Indian Defence Ministry Rejects Report of Soldier’s Kidnapping, Says He's ‘Safe’

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    Conflict Between India, Pakistan Escalates Over Exchange of Airstrikes in Kashmir (106)
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    On Friday, local police said that an Indian Army soldier had been kidnapped by four unidentified gunmen from his home in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam district.

    The Indian Defence Ministry has rejected reports about the abduction of an army serviceman from his home in Kashmir state.

    “Clarification. Media reports of the abduction of a serving Army soldier on leave from Qazipora, Chadoora, Budgam are incorrect. Individual is safe. Speculations may please be avoided,” an Indian Defence Ministry spokesperson tweeted on Saturday.

    READ MORE: Experts: All Eyes on Kashmir as Tensions Between India and Pakistan Escalate

    On Friday, senior police sources told Sputnik that Indian infantryman Mohammad Yaseen Bhat had been abducted from his residence in the village of Qazipora, Budgam, about 115 kilometres from the Line of Control separating Indian and Pakistani-controlled Kashmir.

    Local media reported that the 27-year-old had been on leave from military service since February 26, and that his leave was expected to last until March 31.

    READ MORE: India, Pakistan Assert 'Calmness' at Border Amid Revival of Diplomatic Relations

    The reports of the soldier’s abduction came amid ongoing tensions in ties between India and Pakistan which were escalated last month when a Pakistan-based terrorist group affiliated with al-Qaeda conducted a car bomb attack against Indian military forces in Kashmir, killing at least 40 troops.

    The bombing was followed by Indian air strikes on suspected terrorist training camps on the Pakistani side of the border last week, which in turn sparked skirmishes between Indian and Pakistani forces.

    Topic:
    Conflict Between India, Pakistan Escalates Over Exchange of Airstrikes in Kashmir (106)

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    gunmen, soldier, abduction, Indian Defence Ministry, Pakistan, Kashmir, India
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