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India, Pakistan trade fire in Kashmir
June 12, 2013, 7:21 pm

Indian troops have been on alert since January 2013 [Xinhua]

Indian troops have been on alert since January 2013 [Xinhua]

Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged fire and artillery shells along the line-of-control (LoC) de facto border in Kashmir, Indian officials have said.

The ceasefire violation took place June 11 along the LoC in the Krishna Ghati sector of frontier Poonch district, around 185 km southwest of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian- controlled Kashmir.

“Pakistani troops today resorted to unprovoked firing using machine guns and artillery on our several posts in Krishna Ghati sector,” said S N Acharaya, the Indian army spokesman based in Jammu.

“However, we have not suffered any damages because of the heavy firing.”

The exchange started at around 1:10 p.m. and lasted until 2:20 p.m. The Indian army also fired in retaliation.

Acharaya said Pakistani troopers Monday evening also resorted to unprovoked firing in the sector.

“Last evening we didn’t retaliate but this afternoon we had to respond to neutralize Pakistani action.”

LoC is the de facto border that divides Kashmir into Indian and Pakistani controlled sectors.

Last week, a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) in the Indian army was killed in a similar exchange of fire in the Saujiyan-Mandi sector of Poonch. But Pakistani officials at the time denied firing across the de facto border.

“No Pakistani troop carried out any firing across the LoC on Indian positions. This allegation is categorically denied,” a military spokesman said in a brief statement carried by the media.

In January this year, skirmishes between armies of two nuclear neighbors claimed lives of five troopers (two from India and three from Pakistan).

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 the British, the two countries have fought three wars, two exclusively over Kashmir.

Xinhua with input from Agencies