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Iran Press TV

Indian, Pakistani soldiers exchange fire in Kashmir

Iran Press TV

Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:44PM

Indian and Pakistani soldiers have exchanged fire along the de facto border dividing the disputed region of Kashmir, Indian military sources say.

Army spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said Indian and Pakistani troops traded fire close to the town of Uri on Tuesday, accusing Pakistani army troops of a "ceasefire violation" and opening fire along the Line of Control (LoC).

An unnamed Indian police officer also noted that "small arms exchange of fire is on in the area."

There has been no immediate report of casualties, and Islamabad has yet to comment on the latest incident of fighting in the volatile region.

On Sunday, militants attacked an Indian army base in Kashmir. Nearly 20 Indian soldiers were killed. The Indian army blamed Pakistan-based militants for the assault. Islamabad denies any role in the deadly assault.

India: 8 killed trying to sneak across border in Kashmir

In a separate development, Indian military sources said on Tuesday that Indian troops fired at a group of at least eight people, who tried to sneak across the border in Kashmir, and killed them all.

The sources said the group sought to intrude into Indian-controlled Kashmir near Uri.

Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said no shot had been fired by Pakistani forces, adding, "There seems to be some activity across the border, but there has been no activity from our side, not one shot fired from here."

Indian and Pakistani forces have been engaged in similar clashes in the disputed valley over the past months. The two sides accuse each other of provocation.

In 2003, India and Pakistan agreed to a ceasefire along the LoC in Kashmir and launched peace talks a year later. 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.

The restive Muslim-majority region has witnessed an increase in mass protests and violent attacks since early July, when Burhan Wani, a top figure in a pro-independence group, was killed in a shootout with Indian troops.

Kashmir lies at the heart of almost 70 years of hostility between India and Pakistan. Both neighbors claim the region in full, but have partial control over it.

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