Indian, Pakistani troops exchange fire on Kashmir LoC

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SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- Troops of India and Pakistan Friday exchanged heavy fire and targeted each other's positions on the Line of Control (LoC) dividing Kashmir, officials said.

The two sides exchanged fire on the LoC in the Keran sector of frontier Kupwara district, about 130 km northwest of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.

An Indian army spokesman said their troops observed a suspicious movement along the LoC in the Keran sector, following which they foiled an infiltration bid.

"This was accompanied by initiation of an unprovoked cease-fire violation by Pakistan along the sector by firing mortars and other weapons," the spokesman said. "Befitting response is being given."

Reports pouring in from both the districts said the ongoing shelling has triggered panic among residents at both places and forced them to stay indoors.

So far there were no reports of any damage to the Indian or Pakistani side in the exchange.

During the past three days, cease-fire violations were reported on the LoC in the Poonch sector also.

Last Sunday an officer of the Indian army, three troopers, including a border guard, and three militants were killed in a fierce gunfight along the LoC in the Machil sector of Kupwara.

Reports said since the beginning of this year, over 3,000 cease-fire violations have been recorded.

The troops of India and Pakistan intermittently exchange fire on the LoC and the International Border (IB) in Kashmir, despite an agreement in 2003 to observe a cease-fire. Although the cease-fire remains in effect, New Delhi and Islamabad have accused each other of resorting to unprovoked firings and violating cease-fire agreements. And both sides maintain their troops gave a befitting reply to the other.

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

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