India, Pakistan exchange fire in Kashmir

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The armies of India and Pakistan Wednesday exchanged heavy fire and artillery shells on line-of-control (LoC) in Kashmir, officials said.

The ceasefire violation took place Wednesday along the LoC in Krishna Ghati sector of frontier Poonch district, around 185 km southwest of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian- controlled Kashmir.

"Pakistani troops fired on Indian posts on LoC in the Krishna Ghati Sector, today," said S N Acharaya, Indian army spokesman based in Jammu.

Indian army also fired in retaliation.

Acharaya said four armed persons from the other side of LoC were seen trying to infiltrate into Indian-controlled Kashmir.

"Contact was established with armed group and when challenged they started firing indiscriminately targeting our troops. Our troops took position and opened fire on the infiltrating group, and they were pushed back," said Acharaya. "However, we have not suffered any damage because of the heavy firing."

The exchange of fire started at around 9:50 a.m. and was going on until reports came in last.

LoC is a de facto border that divides Kashmir into Indian and Pakistani controlled parts.Earlier this month a Junior Commissioned Officer of Indian army was killed in a similar exchange of fire in Saujiyan-Mandi sector of Poonch.

In January this year skirmishes between armies of the two nuclear neighbors claimed lives of five soldiers -- two from India and three from Pakistan.

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

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.

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