India, Pakistan forces trade fire in disputed Kashmir


Indian and Pakistani troops have exchanged fire along the de facto border in Kashmir during the latest flare-up of cross-border violence between the two sides.

According to a statement by the Pakistani army, the exchange of fire began when Indian troops resorted to “unprovoked” fire across the Line of Control (LoC), which separates the Pakistani- and Indian-administered parts of Kashmir, on Sunday.

There were no immediate reports on possible casualties or damage.

The development came days after Indian forces allegedly fired into Pakistani portion of the disputed Kashmir, leaving at least four children wounded.

On October 8, Indian authorities said two women were killed and 20 others wounded when Pakistani troops opened fire on border villages and military posts overnight.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed concern over the deadly cross-border clashes between Pakistan and India in Kashmir, calling on both sides to resolve the hostility through negotiations.

“The secretary general is concerned about the recent escalation of violence along the Line of Control between India and Pakistan. He deplores the loss of lives and the displacement of civilians on both sides,” said UN spokeswoman, Vannina Maestracci, on October 9.

Islamabad and New Delhi have fought two wars over Kashmir since their independence from British colonial rule in 1947. The archrivals lay claim to the whole region but each only controls its own section.

India and Pakistan agreed to a ceasefire along the Line of Control in 2003, and a year later launched talks aimed at brokering a regional peace.

The process was, however, suspended after over 160 people lost their lives in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, which New Delhi blamed on Pakistan-based militants.

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