Pakistani, Indian troops trade fire in Kashmir, wounding 2

Published On: June 3, 2017 02:49 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

SRINAGAR, India, June 3:  Indian and Pakistani forces exchanged gunfire across a cease-fire line dividing Kashmir between the two rivals in the latest fighting there, wounding at least two villagers on the Pakistani side, officials said Saturday.

The two sides blamed each other for "unprovoked" firing. Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Nafees Zakaria condemned what he called "deliberate targeting of civilians" by India.

He said the latest violation of the 2003 cease-fire agreement by India took place Friday. Pakistan's military said it returned fire after coming under attack in Kashmir's Nazapir border village.

Nazapir is the same area where Indian forces in 2015 used heavy weapons as people celebrated the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, triggering skirmishes in which several Pakistanis were killed or wounded.

Lt. Col. Manish Mehta, an Indian army spokesman, said Pakistani soldiers have resorted to unprovoked cease-fire violations by attacking Indian positions for several days in the region, firing automatic rifles and mortars. "The Indian army posts are retaliating strongly and effectively," he said.Kashmir is split between India and Pakistan and is claimed by both in its entirety.

The nuclear-armed rivals have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir since British colonialists left in 1947.

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