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India Summons Pakistani Diplomat Over Kashmir Gun Battle

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

India on November 21 summoned a senior Pakistani diplomat over what New Delhi says was a foiled attack by a Pakistani-based militant group earlier in the week in the frontier area of the divided region of Kashmir. Pakistan has denied any connection to the attack.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on November 20 that the killing of four Pakistani militants from the group Jaish-e-Mohammed in a gun battle with Indian security forces indicates that the militants were planning to "wreak major havoc and destruction" in the region ahead of local elections there.

Indian security officials say they recovered a large cache of weapons and explosives from the slain militants.

According to India's Ministry of External Affairs, a formal protest was lodged with Pakistan's charge d'affaires in New Delhi on November 21.

"India reiterated its long-standing demand that Pakistan fulfil its international obligations and bilateral commitments to not allow any territory under its control to be used for terrorism against India in any manner," the ministry said.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry has rejected Modi's allegations as groundless.

"We view these as part of India’s desperate attempts to divert international attention from its state-terrorism in [Indian-ruled Kashmir] and state-sponsorship of terrorism against Pakistan," the ministry said in a statement from Islamabad following Modi's comments on Twitter.

Tension between the nuclear-armed rivals has sharpened since last August, when Modi's government ended the autonomy of its only Muslim-majority region. Kashmir is also claimed by Pakistan.

India plans to conduct district-level elections later in November in the Indian-administered part of the disputed region.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP

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