India, Pakistan exchange fire in Kashmir

The armies of India and Pakistan Sunday exchanged fire on line-of- control (LoC) in Kashmir for the second straight day, India’s official broadcaster All India Radio (AIR) said.

The ceasefire violation took place along the LoC in frontier Poonch district, around 185 km southwest of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.

“Pakistani troops violated ceasefire for the second time today by resorting to unprovoked firing on Indian forward posts in Balakote and Mendhar sector of Poonch,” the AIR report said.

According to AIR, firing started at around 12 noon and was continuing.

Indian officials said Sunday morning that Pakistani troops targeted Indian posts and wounded a border guard of India’s Border Security Force (BSF) in Kanachak area in Jammu, the winter capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.

A heavy exchange of fire broke out between India and Pakistani troops in Poonch began Friday night and lasted until Saturday morning.

Officials say two ceasefire violations have taken place since this morning.

On Tuesday, five Indian troops were killed and another wounded in a deadly ambush near Sarla in Poonch. India accused Pakistani troops of entering into their territory and carrying out the attack, a charge Pakistan denies.

Though the Director General of Military Operations (DGMOs) from India and Pakistan spoke by hotline a day after the killings, the situation along LoC remains tense.

The killings and skirmishes on LoC have come at a time when New Delhi and Islamabad were trying to normalize ties and resume the talks. The killings according to experts are likely to overshadow the resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue process.

LoC is a de facto border that divides Kashmir into India and Pakistan controlled parts.

New Delhi and Islamabad in 2003 agreed to observe a ceasefire along the international border and LoC in Kashmir. Though some violations have been reported on both sides, the ceasefire remains in effect.

Kashmir, the Himalayan region divided between India and Pakistan is claimed by both in full. Since their Independence from British, the two countries have fought three wars, two exclusively over Kashmir.

In January this year skirmishes between armies of two nuclear neighbors claimed lives of five troopers (two from India and three from Pakistan). Both countries blamed each other of violating the ceasefire.

Pakistan says Indian troops fire on its border forces

Aug. 11 — Pakistan said Sunday that Indian troops fired at its paramilitary forces along the Line of Control (LoC), which divides the two countries in the disputed Kashmir region. Full story

India blames Pakistan for killing 5 Indian soldiers in Kashmir

Aug. 11 — India Sunday called on Pakistan government to take responsibility for the death of five Indian soldiers allegedly killed by Pakistani army-backed gunmen at the Line-of-Control (LoC) in Kashmir last Monday, amid lingering tension in Kashmir.

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