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India, Pakistan border guards clash on Kashmir border

English.news.cn   2013-10-24 22:46:58            

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- The border guards of India and Pakistan Thursday again targeted each other's posts on international border in Kashmir, officials said.

The border guards on both sides targeted each other using automatic weapons early Thursday in frontier districts of Jammu and Samba.

"Pakistani Rangers last night started firing mortar shells and rockets on our outposts in Nikki Tawi area of Jammu and Ramgarh area of Samba. The firing continued until early today," said an official of Indian border guards Border Security Force (BSF). " Our side also retaliated to the firing from Pakistani Rangers."

Officials said no loss of life was reported from Indian side.

Border guards of the two nuclear neighbors on Tuesday exchanged fire along 50 locations on the international border, triggering panic among the residents. Reports said many villagers in the frontier areas have started constructing underground bunkers for their safety.

According to India's official broadcaster All India Radio ( AIR), Pakistani Rangers targeted civilian areas in Ramgarh sector which caused extensive damage to some residential houses. "The inmates of one house in Nanga Gao of Ramgarh sector had a narrow escape as the mortar fired by Rangers fell on the rooftop of a house," said AIR. "BSF personnel also had a miraculous escape as the mortar fired by Pak Rangers fell close to border outpost."

On Tuesday India's Home Minister Shushilkumar Shinde visited the restive region to review security along line-of-control (LoC) and international border (IB). Skirmishes between troops posted on LoC have been going on almost at daily basis since Aug 6. Majority of exchanges took place on LoC in Poonch. However for the past several days similar skirmishes are going on along IB in the region.

Both sides have suffered troop as well as civilian casualties during the standoff on 720 km long LoC and 198 km IB. LoC is a de facto border that divides Kashmir into India and Pakistan controlled parts. New Delhi and Islamabad in 2003 agreed to observe cease-fire along the IB and LoC in Kashmir. Though some violations have been reported on both sides, the cease-fire remains in effect.

Both New Delhi and Islamabad blame each other of resorting to unprovoked firing on LoC and IB. 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.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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