India and Pakistan trade more accusations of firings across disputed Kashmir border

Published August 13, 2013

| Associated Press

India and Pakistan have again accused each other of firing across their disputed Kashmir border on Tuesday, the latest in a series of allegations of cross-border attacks made by both over the past week.

An Indian army commander said Tuesday that Pakistani troops fired intermittently through the night at two posts in the Mendhar sector on the de-facto border, 180 kilometers (115 miles) southwest of Srinagar, the main city in India's portion of Kashmir.

He said Indian soldiers responded as Pakistani troops used small arms, machine guns and mortars. No casualties were reported.

On the Pakistan side, a military official accused Indian troops of firing late Monday at Pakistani military posts. The official said the Indian fire was "unprovoked" and that Pakistani forces responded.

Both officials spoke on customary condition of anonymity.

Kashmir is claimed in its entirety by both India and Pakistan but divided between them.

Pakistan and India have long been enemies and have fought three wars — two over Kashmir — since both gained independence from Britain in 1947.

Pakistan had earlier accused Indian troops of shelling its territory along the border on Monday and killing a civilian. India denied the charge, saying Pakistani troops initiated the firing.

A 2003 cease-fire agreement has largely calmed the military line between the countries, although each side occasionally accuses the other of violating it by firing mortars or gunshots across the line of control.

The resumption of violence threatens to sabotage recent overtures by the two aimed at resuming peace talks and increasing cross-border trade.

India accused Pakistani soldiers and militants of crossing into its portion of Kashmir a week ago and killing five Indian soldiers. Officials say the incident was the deadliest along the line of control since 1999 when the two armies fought pitched battles in the Himalayan region of Kargil.

Pakistan denied its soldiers killed any Indian troops, and accused Indian soldiers of severely wounding a Pakistani citizen along the border last Thursday. India denied the allegation.

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Associated Press writer Rebecca Santana in Islamabad, Pakistan, contributed to this report.

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