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Indian, Pakistani armies exchange fire in Kashmir

English.news.cn   2013-09-17 19:13:49            

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- India and Pakistan's troops Tuesday fired at each other's positions for the third straight day on the line-of-control (LoC) in Kashmir, officials said.

The cease-fire violation took place Tuesday morning in Mendhar sector of frontier Poonch district, about 185 km southwest of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.

"Pakistani army today at 8:40 a.m. fired small arms and automatics and mortars on our positions in Mendhar," said S. N. Acharaya, Indian army spokesman in Jammu.

"Our side also retaliated to Pakistani firing with similar caliber weapons," he said.

The fresh ceasefire violations came amid the backdrop of a meeting between India's External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Pakistan's adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz.

The two leaders agreed to respect the LoC cease-fire agreement of 2003 during their meeting on Friday in Bishkek -- Kyrgyzstan on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit.

Acharaya said the Indian side has not suffered any damage due to the Pakistani firing. The firing from both sides continued until last reports came in.

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

Skirmishes between two armies are going on almost on a daily basis over the past one month. Majority of the exchanges took place on LoC in Poonch.

So far, eight troopers (five from the Indian side and three from the Pakistani side) were killed during the standoff on the 720 km long LoC.

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

Both India and Pakistan blame each other of resorting to unprovoked firing that triggers skirmishes resulting in civilian or troop casualties on either side.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif are scheduled to meet in New York later this month on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session.

Indian officials said since January this year, over 90 ceasefire violations have been recorded on the LoC.

Editor: Yang Yi
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