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2 killed, 6 wounded in Kashmir skirmishes

English.news.cn   2014-08-23 15:41:09

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Troops of India and Pakistan have fired on each other's positions along the International Border (IB) in the disputed Kashmir region, officials said on Saturday.

The clash broke out in RS Pora sector of Jammu Friday night and continued until Saturday morning.

Indian officials said two civilians were killed and six others including a personnel of India's Border Security Force (BSF) were wounded due to Pakistani firing.

The two sides used light and heavy artillery to target each other's posts and civilian areas. Reports said the exchange continued for hours together.

The wounded civilians and border guard on Indian side were admitted in Government Medical College hospital in Jammu, locals said.

"Pakistani Rangers targeted BSF border outposts in Arnia sub sector of RS Pora sector and resorted to unprovoked firing on Pittal, Tent Guard, Chinaaz, Kot - Kubba, Budhwar, SH - Way, Jabbowal, Chhowani, Nikkowal and Bulle Chack Border posts," said a BSF official.

"The firing from Pakistani side killed a child and his father besides wounding their three other family members in Jeora. A BSF head constable and two other civilians are also reported wounded due to firing."

According to India's official broadcaster, All India Radio (AIR) , BSF retaliated to Pakistan firing with equal caliber weapons.

The firing created panic among the villagers on the Indian side close to Arnia sector as bullets and mortars damaged residential houses, locals said.

Pakistan however Saturday said two civilians including a woman were killed after Indian BSF resorted to unprovoked firing in Charwa and Mehrajke sectors near Sialkot on their side. According to Pakistan's official broadcaster - Radio Pakistan, Pakistan Rangers effectively responded to Indian BSF firing.

"Two civilians were killed when Indian BSF opened unprovoked firing in Charwa and Mehrajke Sectors near Sialkot border last night," the Pakistan broadcaster said.

Both New Delhi and Islamabad accuse each other of resorting to unprovoked firing and violating cease-fire, and, both sides claim they retaliated in effective manner to silence opposite side.

Indian Defense Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday told media in New Delhi that Indian troops were giving appropriate response to cease-fire violations by Pakistan along the border.

India this week canceled the foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan, citing its reservations over Islamabad's proximity with Kashmiri separatists.

This month has seen a surge in cease-fire violations on LoC and IB in Kashmir.

Last month, armies and border guards of the two countries indulged in cease-fire violations, inflicting casualties on both sides, besides damage to civilian areas.

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

The LoC on both sides is guarded by army, while as IB is guarded by BSF on Indian side and Pakistan Rangers from the other side.

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.

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

Last year deadly skirmishes took place between Indian and Pakistani troops posted on 720 km-long LoC and 198 km IB in Kashmir. Both sides have suffered troop as well as civilian casualties during the stand-off.

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