India, Pakistan armies exchange fire in Kashmir for third straight day

2013-08-12 09:29:22 GMT2013-08-12 17:29:22(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- The armies of India and Pakistan on Monday again exchanged fire on line-of-control (LoC) in Kashmir for the third straight day, officials said.

The ceasefire violation took place along the LoC in frontier Poonch district, around 185 km southwest of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir. "Today Pakistani troops violated ceasefire again by resorting to unprovoked firing on our forward posts in Digwar, Mankote and Durga Battalion of Poonch," said an army official. "The firing started at 01:50 a.m. (local time) until 06:00 a.m."

The India army also retaliated to firing from Pakistani side. However, The Indian army officials said they have not suffered any damage in the exchange.

Last week five Indian troops were killed and another wounded in a deadly ambush near Sarla in Poonch. India accused Pakistani troops of entering into their territory and carrying out the attack, a charge Pakistan denies.

Following the incident a surge in ceasefire violations on LoC was recorded.

The killings and skirmishes on LoC have come at a time when New Delhi and Islamabad were trying to normalize ties and resume the talks. The killings according to experts are likely to overshadow the resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue process.

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

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. In January this year skirmishes between armies of the two nuclear neighbors claimed lives of five troopers (two from India and three from Pakistan). The both countries blamed each other of violating the ceasefire.

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