8 dead as Indian, Pakistani forces trade fire in Kashmir
At least eight people have lost their lives and more than a dozen sustained injuries when Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged fire along the de facto border in Kashmir during the latest flare-up of cross-border violence between the two sides.
Indian army spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Manish Mehta, said Pakistani troops struck Indian positions in Balakote and Poonch sectors, located approximately 200 kilometers (124 miles) southwest of the Indian-administered Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar.
Indian police officer Danish Rana said six civilians have died in the Pakistani shelling over the past two days, and at least 17 others wounded.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s army announced in a statement that two civilians have been killed and two others wounded during the Saturday fighting.
Pakistan and India have been engaged in hostility over Kashmir ever since their independence from British rule and their partition in 1947. Both neighbors claim the region in full but have partial control over it. Pakistan controls one third of Kashmir, with the remaining two thirds under India’s control.
The neighbors agreed on a ceasefire in 2003, and launched a peace process the following year. Since then, there have been sporadic clashes, with both sides accusing the other of violating the ceasefire.
Thousands of people have been killed in the unrest in Kashmir over the past two decades.