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India, Pakistan armies exchange fire in Kashmir

English.news.cn   2013-10-02 15:00:45            

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- India and Pakistan troops fired at each other's positions on the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir, officials said Wednesday.

The fresh confrontation between the armies of two nuclear neighbors came two days after the prime ministers of both countries agreed to reduce tension along the LoC in Kashmir as the first step towards a comprehensive peace in the region.

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

"Pakistani army yesterday at 2:30 p.m. (local time) violated cease-fire and targeted our positions in the Mendhar area," said S N Acharaya, the Indian army spokesman in Jammu.

"Our side also retaliated to Pakistani firing with similar caliber weapons" and "has not suffered any damage due to Pakistani firing," he said, adding that intermittent firing continued for around one hour.

A meeting between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif was held on the sidelines of the 68th United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sunday.

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

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

Skirmishes between the two armies have been going on almost at a daily basis since Aug. 6. The majority of the incidents took place on the LoC in Poonch. Both sides have suffered troop as well as civilian casualties during the standoff on the 720-km-long LoC.

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

New Delhi accuses Islamabad of providing arms and training to Kashmiri militants. However, Islamabad says it only provides moral and political support to Kashmiris.

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

Editor: Hou Qiang
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